Severe storms brought tornado, flash flooding in New Jersey

Brittany Bell Image
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Severe storms brought tornado, flash flooding in NJ
Meteorologist Brittany Bell has more on the severe storms that ravaged parts of the Tri-State this weekend.

SPRINGFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Severe storms hit the Tri-State hard over the weekend, resulting in flash flooding and even a tornado in New Jersey.

Tornado touchdown

The National Weather Service has confirmed that Saturday night's severe storm spawned an EF-1 tornado in Burlington County, New Jersey.

The tornado, with winds at 80-90 mph, touched down in Springfield Township just east of Route 206 and Columbus-Jobstown Road intersection. That is about one mile northeast of the Burlington County Fairgrounds.

The tornado stayed on the ground for 7.9 miles before it dissipated near the Ocean County line.

The storm left a path of destruction but no injuries were reported.

"Significant tree damage was observed in a neighborhood north of Columbus- Jobstown Road. From there, several large limbs were snapped off on Island Road. One tree was uprooted and one was snapped on Juliustown-Georgetown Road," the NWS said.

A funnel cloud was also spotted in Woodbridge, New Jersey, but it did not touch down.


The water from Saturday's flood has already receded, but the mud and the trash show one of many scars left over from a problem that Newark residents say is dangerous and costly.

Emergency management officials say some surrounding areas picked up close to 6 inches of rain in less than two hours.

The rain quickly meet streets impassible and Newark police had to rescue 73 people.

A storm of biblical proportions submerged much of Newark over the weekend, leaving the city searching for answers on how to stop the flooding.

Residents said Saturday's flash flooding was similar to a tropical storm.

"As significant as this probably the last tropical storm that we had here, it was that bad," Catia Nascimeno said. "It was as bad. The other one I lost my car. Thankfully, this time I was smarter. So my car wasn't in low bearing place so I did move it. So I was able to salvage my car."

Storm cleanup

On Sunday morning, Springfield Township residents were out cleaning up from the tornado damage.

Homeowners tore down trees in danger of falling onto their homes off of Mount Pleasant Road. Neighbors there say this type of damage is nothing new.

"It's an annual occurrence. Every time we get the big straight-line winds, we lose trees. Last year, there was one on the house," said Bob Fredericks, who calls this cleanup a "chainsaw day" for the neighborhood.

He had three trees crash down in his yard as a result of high winds and heavy rain from Saturday's storm.

"Huge trees and they make quite a sound. That old saying 'does a tree fall in the forest and no one's around does anyone hear it?' Well, we heard these," he said.

Other neighbors had branches puncture roofs and trunks smash cars, but they're calling themselves fortunate.

"Thank God that nobody got hurt. We got some cars in the neighborhood that are damaged, but nobody got hurt, so we're grateful for that," said Jimmy Barnes.

PSE&G crews were also in the neighborhood assessing downed wires in the neighborhood.

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One person was injured in a drive-by shooting in Fliushing on Sunday.


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