MAYS LANDING, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Nearly 100,000 homes and businesses remain without power after wild weather hit southern New Jersey.
The storms left behind a path of destruction in Atlantic and Cumberland counties. The damage is estimated to be worse than that caused by Tropical Storm Irene.
On Shepherd Drive in Northfield Atlantic County, Tom Mozitis heard about the storm long before he saw its effects.
“This is devastating coming home to [this],” Mozitis told CBS 2′s Oren Lieberman.
His family was away on vacation in the Poconos and they saw pictures of the damage on his street. Two trees crashed through the roof of an empty home and one tree trunk smashed a hummer sitting in a driveway, but didn’t touch the house.
Mozitis said he waited until Monday morning to come home to find a tree dangling over his house, hanging on a utility pole support wire.
“There wasn’t anything to come home to — no electricity, nothing. Thank God the tree wasn’t through the house,” he said.
During the worst of the storm, Atlantic City Electric said more than 200,000 people were out of power, making it the worst storm since Hurricane Isabelle back in 2003.
More than 700 crews, including electric workers and tree cutters, have been trying to repair the damage from the storm and restore power. A storm that was gone in minutes will take days to clean up.
Anthony Marshall said he had to empty out his refrigerator because everything spoiled with no power. The storm ripped apart his backyard and dropped a tree on his neighbor’s home.
“We got the windows open and everything. We’re just getting some kind of air going through there, but yesterday was brutal,” Marshall said.
The cleanup isn’t a race against the clock; it’s a race against the weather, with dangerous heat expected to last all week.
PSE&G is sending 130 workers to help restore service in southern New Jersey. All are volunteering their time, but the lights may not come back until Friday, officials said.
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