Now, some students are staying home after school officials in Bergen County canceled some classes.
The Elmwood Park Public School District posted a notice on its website advising parents and students that all district schools would be closed Tuesday because of a storm-related power outage affecting the area around the building shared by the middle school and high school.
In nearby Paterson, a funnel cloud was spotted. However, it never touched the ground.
It proved to be a wild night for many, who had to deal with all the rough weather that downed trees and power lines and left thousands in the dark while the street outside was crackling white with 13,000 volts sparking and burning.
More than 10,000 customers were without power at the peak of the outages.
It will take days to get everything sorted out, and it will be dangerous work with homes damaged and tree limbs tangled up with electrical wires.
People in Emerson said the storm was short but overwhelming.
"It was so windy so fast, Ii looked out my front window and I couldn't see 20 feet," resident Tom Western said. "It was like a wall of rain, and all the trees were bent over sideways. And it was maybe a minute, but once we came up from the basement, the area was just like a war zone."
In Bergenfield, there's only sawdust left from the falling tree that nearly killed a mother and her 8-year-old daughter on South Summit Avenue. The little girl suffered a head injury, and both were hospitalized for treatment but are expected to survive.
Other residents said they huddled inside, under cover.
"It just sounded like super loud branches exploding, hitting the house," resident Tim Feely said. "I was afraid that my windows were going to break. So it was pretty scary."
Thankfully, dry conditions are expected at least until the end of the week, which should help the cleanup effort.