MANAHAWKIN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities determined Tuesday that a powerful storm that hit Stafford Township earlier in the day was in fact an EF0 tornado.
The twister touched down at 10:05 a.m. with maximum speeds of 75-85 mph. It was two miles in length and about 50-100 yards wide, the National Weather Service said.
The twister tore down trees and branches throughout the town, blowing out windows and snapping power lines.
Walter Drag of the NWS said earlier that the storm that hit Tuesday was rotating, and that inspectors were sent to the scene to confirm whether it was a tornado.
“There was some straight-line wind damage which has not been confirmed at this point as a tornado, but it does appear to me that it would be consistent with a tornado,” Stafford Township Police Capt. Thomas DeLane told 1010 WINS earlier in the day. “We have multiple trees down in the area, multiple lightning strikes and several structure fires as well.”
Storms in the area left hundreds without power after dumping 2 inches or more of rain.
DeLane said the Manahawkin Baptist Church had a section of its roof ripped off.
“What’s kind of ironic is that a portion of the debris that’s still sitting on the roof is in the shape of a cross,” DeLane said.