BARNEGAT/WARETOWN, NJ - No doubt that 2020 will go down in area history books for its series of challenges.  Tropical Storm Isaias raged through both Barnegat and Ocean Township yesterday.  The National Weather Service confirmed six tornadoes across the region, including one in Ocean County.  Thousands went several hours without power.

Some sources have reported that a tornado actually touched down in Barnegat or Brookville, a part of Ocean Township.  Both Barnegat Police Chief Keith Germain and Ocean Township Police Chief Michel Rogalski stated they have not received official notification that a twister hit in either location. There is also no evidence of related destruction.

Barnegat residents receive electric from one of two providers. Atlantic City Electric Company serves homes west of the Parkway. A total of 74,662 of the company’s customers experienced outages as a result of the storm.  Currently, the number of outages within the township is reduced to 16.  Estimated restoration for those customers is August 8 at 11:00 pm.

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JCP&L services the balance of Barnegat homes and businesses. They also provide electricity to Ocean Township. Statewide, 1.4M of their customers lost power.  As of 8am this morning, 5,725 of the utility company’s 8,409 Barnegat customers remain without electricity.  In Ocean Township, the lights are out for 3,188 of the 5,209 JCP&L customers.

Estimated restoration time for JCP&L remains unavailable at this time. The utility company reports that outside services have come in to provide assistance.

Ocean Township residents are advised to boil water if their homes are west of Route 9. This advisory applies to all those who live in Greenbriar Oceanaire, Dog Town, Laurelwyck, Royal Oaks-James Drive, Route 532-Wells Mills Road.

The specifics of the Boil Water Advisory can be found here.  It includes a reminder to boil drinking water for pets – and to let it cool down first.

Both Germain and Rogalski used social media and Nixle alerts to keep residents up to date.

Many seemingly went out in search of gas yesterday to fill up generators.  This prompted a public service announcement from the lead of  Barnegat’s finest.

“If you're thinking about going to the Wawa on Lighthouse Drive and West Bay Avenue, just know that 24,000 of your neighbors have the same idea,” said Barnegat Police.

Traffic lights in Barnegat went out due to the storm – but not in Ocean Township.

“We used our experience from Sandy to keep manpower and overtime down,” said Germain. “At that time, we used generators in our possession to hook up to traffic control boxes.”

Germain says the DOT came in and took a page from the local municipality’s playbook to achieve the same restoration of traffic signals.

Trees came down in several parts of both towns. Only minor flooding occurred on Lighthouse Drive in Waretown. Crews are working to reestablish access to a major throughway in Ocean Township.

“There are four poles down on Route 9 between Senaca Boulevard and Seminole Drive,” shared Rogalski. “Officers are on scene and there is a detour in place.”

Hurricane season and the pandemic have already been marked as a potential disaster by one local scientist.  The good news is that there are no reports of “murder hornets” in the local region.

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