JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork)A fast and powerful round of storms dumped several inches of rain on the area in minutes Thursday afternoon, and was blamed for serious flooding in Jersey City.

As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, traffic on Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City was at a standstill after the flooding, and part of the road was shut down.

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One woman driving a silver Mercedes Benz was caught in about two feet of floodwater on Tonnelle Avenue. Another driver also got stuck.


The women told CBS2 they thought they could get safely through the floodwaters, but their engine just stopped running and their cars were left just sitting there.

Police came to the scene and blocked off traffic. CBS2’s Layton’s crew also called 911 and advised dispatchers of the women who were stuck.

The dispatchers said crews were aware and trying to respond, but traffic was hindering their efforts.

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One of the women said half an hour passed before she was able to get out of her car.

“Nine-one-one just said get out of the car,” she said. “How am I going to get out? There’s water all over.”

Jersey City police later pushed the two cars out of the water.

A man at the scene described the power of the storms.

“Suddenly, the clouds and the darkness — within five minutes, everything was like heavy, heavy rain.”

As the storm cell pushed to the east, it was bringing 4 inches of rain per hour, 300 lightning strikes per hour, winds of 60 mph or more, and hail of .5 inch diameter, CBS2’s Lonnie Quinn reported.

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The storms also brought down trees and power lines in the area.