The storm hit just before 9 p.m. Sunday.
Some of the worst of the damage happened in Neptune where strong winds ripped the roof off the Neptune Motor Lodge.
New York Ave is closed in the area of Americas Best Value Inn due to significant storm damage. The inn has been evacuated due to significant structural damage. Roads in the area are closed due to debris, downed wires, and damaged vehicles. One minor injury.#NeptuneAlert pic.twitter.com/SxfK4DPRyi— Neptune Township OEM (@NeptuneOEM) March 29, 2021
Several guests had to be evacuated when the storm shattered the hotel's windows and sent debris flying.
When emergency crews arrived, wind whipped debris was everywhere and huge sections of the roof came crashing to the ground.
The damage was evident as car windows were smashed.
A trailer rolled onto its side and roof debris from the motel slammed into the house across the street.
"All damage reports received so far were due to straight line winds," the National Weather Service said. "This includes in Neptune Twp, New Jersey, where very preliminary accounts from first responders on Sunday evening led to speculation of a possible tornado. Damage in that area, including to the roof of the Americas Best Value Inn, was consistent with straight line winds of around 70 mph, which likely caused the roof to peel off."
Local officials suggest the Neptune Motor Lodge will be condemned.
Trees were toppled in Scotch Plains, while Linden saw significant damage when a tree came crashing down on a home on Henry Street.
The fire department blocked the street to clear downed wires and the tree.
There are no reports of any serious injuries.
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