VILLAS, N.J. (CBSNewYork/CBS Philly) — Wild weather moved through parts of the Tri-State Area Tuesday, bringing heavy rain and ripping off roofs in southern New Jersey.
As Trang Do of KYW-TV, CBS3 Philadelphia reported, Cape May County at the southernmost tip of New Jersey was hit particularly hard. The Villas Fire Department was called out repeatedly on Tuesday.
“Between the three fire departments they likely went on 60 calls,” said Lower Township, Cape May County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Richard Harron.
A severe storm swept into Cape May County around 3:30 p.m., bringing heavy rain and high winds.
“I’ve been here through hurricanes and nor’easters — never seen anything like this before,” said Larry Crunell of Erma, New Jersey. “This is crazy.”
In Atlantic City, some 30,000 electric customers were left without power by the storm.
“I thought it was a tornado,” said Joanna Strunk of Villas. “That’s what I was telling to my mom, ‘I think we’re in a tornado right now.’”
When all was said and done, about a dozen homes were left with serious damage from fallen trees and downed power lines – many in the Villas section of Lower Township, Cape May County.
“I came down my street and I was like, ‘Oh my God, the tree came down,” Strunk said. “So I called my neighbors and checked my house. Thank God my house is OK.”
Late Tuesday, crews and neighbors alike were chipping in to clear roads and yards.
“I just got home from work and saw my neighbors had some trees down, and my tree fell down in my other neighbors yard, so trying to get it cleaned up for them,” said Larry Ogden of Villas.
A fallen tree busted the rearview window of a car at the Home Depot in Middle Township, Cape May County, and the store also sustained damage to its HVAC system on the roof. Everyone was grateful that the damage was just property.
“I have a 4-year-old little girl and I am just thankful that no one was here, nobody got hurt and we’re all OK,” Ogden said.
The strong winds also flipped a plane upside down at Cape May County Airport, and caused problems elsewhere on the Jersey Shore. In Barnegat Bay, a YouTube clip posted by Paul Haertel showed severe hail falling.
As of late Tuesday, Atlantic City Electric reported 30,000 customers remained without power. There was no word when they would be restored.
The same weather system caused major problems in Washington, D.C.
Riders on the Metro system there had to navigate through several inches of water as they made their way out of stations. They could barely get up the stairs as the water cascaded down into and through the stations.