Tropical Storm Elsa spawned 2 tornadoes in NJ, National Weather Service confirms

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Saturday, July 10, 2021
2 tornadoes confirmed in NJ during Tropical Storm Elsa
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The National Weather Service has determined that two tornadoes touched down in New Jersey as Tropical Storm Elsa hit the region early Friday.

WOODBINE, New Jersey (WABC) -- The National Weather Service has determined that two tornadoes touched down in New Jersey as Tropical Storm Elsa hit the region early Friday.

Elsa's high winds sparked a tornado warning, and a storm survey was conducted in the areas of Little Egg Harbor Township in Ocean County, Somers Point in Atlantic County, and Woodbine in Cape May County.

Two of them were confirmed as tornadoes touching down.


In Woodbine, investigators said an EF-1 tornado with estimated peak winds of 100 mph hit around 2:40 a.m. Friday.

It was on the ground for just under a mile and had a maximum width of 75 yards.

The weather service said the tornado ended about two minutes after it began.

According to the National Weather Service:

-At the Ocean World Condominium Complex, it uprooted two trees and destroyed a picnic shelter at the complex's picnic area.

-The roof of the picnic shelter was dropped into the nearby swimming pool, and the tornado caused considerable structural damage to the complex's office and recreation building.

-The front door was blown out and ripped off of the structure and an exterior wall was pushed outward several inches, but did not completely collapse.

-The complex's entrance sign was also blown over and another nearby cedar tree was uprooted.

-The tornado continued westward where it snapped a few trees along Ash Drive and Freidriechstadt Avenue.

-The tornado continued through a wooded area then uprooted a few trees near the intersection of Dehirsch Avenue and Joffe Drive.

-At the same intersection, several tree limbs were snapped off and sections of residential vinyl fencing were blown over.

-The tornado continued across an open area then ended near the intersection of Heilprin Avenue and Ocean Drive where it snapped part of a pine tree off onto a house.


Meanwhile, investigators determined an EF-0 tornado with maximum estimated peak winds of 80 mph hit Little Egg Harbor Township around 3:33 a.m. Friday.

It lasted about one-third of a mile and had a maximum width of 110 yards. It was on the ground for about one minute.

According to the National Weather Service:

-The tornado touched down in a residential area along Sycamore Drive and snapped numerous large tree limbs and snapped a few trees along Sycamore Drive and Harbourtown Boulevard. One small tree was uprooted on Sycamore Drive.

-Some homes suffered some cosmetic damage along Rosemont Lane and Harbourtown Boulevard where some sections of vinyl fencing were blown over.

-The tornado continued along Rosemont Lae where numerous tree limbs were down.

-A residence at the intersection of Rosemont Lane and vista court had two sections of wooden fencing blown out and tossed approximately 50 feet, striking the rear side of the house.

-A few houses along Vista Court also sustained some cosmetic damage.

-The tornado ended at the end of vista court where a few trees were snapped or uprooted.


The National Weather Service said storm damage in Somers Point was not caused by a tornado, but rather tropical storm force winds that reached 100 mph.

The damage occurred shortly before 3 a.m. Friday.

According to the National Weather Service:

-Strong wind from a rain band associated with Tropical Storm Elsa caused seven wooden power poles to snap along the Longport Boulevard Causeway in Somers Point.

-There was no other notable damage nearby and all the poles had fallen in the same direction

-Thus this damage has been determined to have been caused directly by the strong winds from the tropical rain band that raced across the New Jersey shore overnight.

On State Route 152, the Somers Point-Longport Boulevard, remained closed for most of the day. Shore traffic on Friday had to detour as crews worked to fix downed poles, some of which were snapped in half.

Back Bay BBQ, which is located in the middle of the causeway, ran on generators and had to be closed Friday because customers did not have access to the roadway.

Owner Leonard Dagit was still able to smoke the meats on their wood-fired smoker. He described the storm that came through Thursday into Friday overnight.

"Unfortunately, the highway is closed so no one can get here by now," said Dagit. "We got alerts for a possible tornado and at about 3 a.m. and all hell broke loose and things were just blowing around like crazy."


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