SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Wednesday’s powerful storms brought down trees, flooded roads and knocked out power for thousands across the area.Summit One Vanderbilt Observation Deck Opens In Midtown
In Springfield Township, New Jersey, a confirmed tornado touched down.
It was brief but it did a lot of damage in a short amount of time.
National Weather Service has confirmed with Union County Emergency Management that a brief tornado touched down near Springfield Ave and Route 22 in Springfield, NJ. Radar estimated winds 70 mph with a rating of EF0.
— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) August 7, 2019
Crews have their work cut out for them cleaning up the mess last night’s powerful storm left behind, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.
A funnel cloud formed over Route 22 in Springfield Township. The National Weather Service confirmed a low-level tornado touched down at 2:47 p.m. with winds up to 70 miles per hour.
“Yesterday was kind of scary. It took 15 seconds to do all this damage. It was very quick,” said Joe Mota, who works at an auto body shop. The brief storm left a debris field nearby.
“Everything was flying. Panels, roofing, solar panels. I was waiting for a car to lift up,” said Vince Odee. “Bricks came off, AC came down, live transformer on the ground for 45 minutes to an hour. It kept bursting. There was a fire over there, one car burned.”
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“Whipped its way around to the back, tore off the back of the building,” Bill Harmer, facility manager of an office building, told CBS2.
At a nearby car dealership, debris shattered the back window of a customer’s car, and damaged several cars up for sale.
“There was stuff flying around, the lights were flickering on and off, the doors opened, the trees fell and leaves everywhere,” said employee Summer Ferreira. “It was crazy.”READ MORE: Police On Hunt For Occupant Of Black Or Dark Blue Honda Wanted In Westfield, N.J. Home Invasion And Sexual Assault
“Whatever piece was flying here cut through the hood. So that is – I don’t even want to know how much to fix,” employee Andy Jansons said.
Another car was stuck under a tree, which fell on top of it, forcing an exit off Route 22 to close.
Alyson Miller found herself nearby, driving through the tornado.
“There was actually big sheets of things flying through the air right above me,” she said. “I weaved through traffic because people were just stopping. I didn’t want to stay there, I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.”
She made it home, only to find the trampoline in her backyard had flipped over a six-foot fence and flew into her neighbor’s yard.
“There was a fence in the middle, and it went up and over,” said her daughter, Sima Miller.
Crews will have to come to Milltown Road to clear a tree which uprooted and then landed on a home and front lawn, DeAngelis reported.
From flipped trampolines to uprooted trees, neighbors described a chaotic night.
“I was crying and everything. The police came, the fire department came. My daughter was OK, thank god,” Melissa Scala said.
Neighbors say the tree coming down was scary – as was the sound.
“Very loud, very loud. I thought maybe a truck or a car hit our house,” one woman said.
“I was scared as anything. The wind was unreal. This flag was flying so – I thought it was going to fly way,” said Irene Ficchi, who has lived in Springfield with her husband for more than 50 years. “It was amazing to see a tornado in Springfield. We never heard of that.”
Fortunately, police said there were no storm-related injuries in the area.
Meanwhile in Newark, flash flooding left more than a dozen streets under water. The public safety department said it rescued at least 11 drivers who got trapped in their cars.MORE NEWS: Street Teams Canvas Neighborhoods To Bring Medical Care To Vulnerable New Yorkers
It wasn’t just drivers. In New York City, some subway riders couldn’t escape the flooding either. Commuters posted videos on social media showing water raining down onto the platform at Prince Street in SoHo and trickling into a southbound B train in Brooklyn.