Severe thunderstorms cause damage in Toms River and other areas throughout the Tri-State

TOMS RIVER, New Jersey (WABC) -- Severe wind and thunderstorms moved through the area Tuesday afternoon, leading to extensive damage in Toms River and many areas throughout the tri-state.

The weather was so severe that it triggered a Tornado Warning for a short period of time during the afternoon for parts of New York and New Jersey.

Toms River was among the places in New Jersey hardest hit by the storm as it moved through around 3 p.m.

What began as a Severe Thunderstorm Warning brought hail, heavy rain and powerful winds that left the Ocean County community pretty much in the dark.

Police there suspect a tornado might have touched down, but only the National Weather Service can confirm that. It is not clear if the NWS is still doing field surveys due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Toms River Police Department issued a warning to residents to stay clear of Bay Avenue between Hooper Avenue and Vaughn Avenue where downed wires and debris could be found.

There were damage reports that a home was struck by lightning on Lester Road and multiple trees were uprooted near Vaughn Avenue.

Toms River police will continue to keep an eye on intersection in the dark while utility crews work overnight to restore power.

In South Orange, strong winds knocked down a tree and a power poll.

Meanwhile, pink lightning was captured in the skies over Manalapan.

The storms left about 20,000 customers across New Jersey without power.

Major power outages were also reported on Long Island where nearly 2,000 customers were left in the dark.

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.