SUMMIT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A microburst uprooted trees and downed power lines Monday in Summit, New Jersey, leaving hundreds of customers in the dark.

Microbursts are sudden, intense downward bursts of wind produced by a thunderstorm. They typically happen in the Tri-State Area during the warmer months.

Alan Muses was inside his home when the severe whether suddenly swept through.

“It’s a surreal event. You can’t explain it. You have to witness it,” he told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis. “From a gush, to a wind, to what felt like hurricane-force. And then all the sudden, you saw all the bins fly through, debris smashing against the back of the house. Then you started to see the trees fall down, then you heard an almighty thud when that huge 40-foot tree smashed onto the front of our house.”

Fortunately, his wife and daughter were not home at the time.

“It came, it was crazy, it took everything down. Then it left,” he said. “When something like that happens, you’re just thinking about the people around you, making sure everyone’s safe and that’s the main thing.”

JCP&L crews hoped to have power fully restored by noon Tuesday.

In the meantime, Franklin Elementary School is closed for the day.

“When she saw the tree, she’s like, ‘holy mackerel,’” said resident Elizabeth Pazinko.

“I’m just really happy that we were already home from school and in the house and not outside when it happened, because it happened that fast. It was really frightening,” resident Andrea Pazinko said.

“We’ve had obviously wind damage from Sandy. We had significant damage in March from the heavy snowfall, which was very wet and brought some trees down, but nothing like this before,” said resident Steve Villas.

As more rain moves into the area, officials are concerned about flooding due to blocked storm drains.


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