TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Toms River say it appears a tornado touched down Tuesday afternoon.
A fast-moving storm system brought hail, rain and wind, and it left a massive cleanup behind.
The sight of a funnel cloud forming forced homeowners down the shore to worry about something other than the coronavirus for the first time in weeks.
“All of a sudden, it just got pitch black and winds blew like crazy,” Mariann Mottola told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
In less than a few minutes, Mottola’s brand new fence was destroyed. She came outside to find her Buick buried under bushes and branches.
“My ’62 Buick is under there, and my hot tub is under there back there. We’ll find them,” she said.
“Downed trees, power wires, no power, people being condemned from their houses from trees falling, it’s just bad,” James Joyner said.
Drone video shows the destruction that battered neighborhoods. Drone Force 2 flew over Twin Oak’s Drive, where people out cleaning up after the suspected tornado were frightened by how fast it happened.
“We literally thought we were going to die,” one woman said. “It was the loudest sound and you could feel the pressure, just everything breaking and shattering.”
The force of the wind didn’t just take down trees. It sheared the top off of one and blew it across the street into a neighbor’s yard.
And in such a scary time, neighbors marveled at how they all came together.
“What was strange was all the neighbors out without masks on today,” Mottola said. “Everybody was out worrying about everybody else.”