LAKEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A state of emergency has been declared in Freehold Township as thousands of utility customers in Central Jersey remained without power late on Sunday afternoon after a series of severe storms moved through the region.

The first wave of storms, which contained lightning and heavy rains, knocked out power to about 30,000 customers on Saturday afternoon. And thousands more lost their service when more severe thunderstorms hit late on Saturday night, knocking down numerous trees and power lines.

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As of 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, 1,400 customers were without power in Freehold Township and 3,200 were without power in Freehold. In total, 5,600 customers were without power in Monmouth County.

The storms also damaged several tents and the grounds at the Monmouth County Fair in Freehold Township, forcing officials to cancel the fair’s final day of events on Sunday.

In Freehold, officials will take a look to see if a tornado touched down. And as a safety precaution — because of the downed wires — there will be a 10 p.m. curfew in place for Sunday evening.

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Jersey Center Power and Light crews are trying to clear all of the trees that are down throughout Freehold and Freehold Township. Once that is done, they will begin to restore power. The utility hopes to have most customers’ power back by Monday night, the remaining customers should have their power back by Tuesday afternoon.

For families that need someplace to go, Freehold Regional High School has opened itself up to be used as a shelter. Also, Jersey Center Power and Light is participating with some Freehold-area stores to provide free ice and water to residents. Such locations include the ACME and ShopRite on Route 9, the Norkus Foodtown on Highway 33 and the Stop & Shop at the Raintree Shopping Center.

How hard were you hit — if at all — by the storms? Share your stories and comments in the section below…

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