ROXBURY, NJ - A fast-moving storm that included a tornado strike in nearby Stanhope glanced Roxbury on Tuesday, mainly impacting Port Morris and Landing, where trees fell on several houses and power lines were snapped.
The National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday that a tornado touched down in Stanhope, just across Lake Musconetcong from Port Morris. It did not say whether the twister remained intact long enough to cause the damage that took place in Roxbury.
John Canfield was watching the Yankee game on television when a tornado warning was broadcast at about 8:30 p.m., he said. Canfield, who lives with his mother, Stella Canfield, at 197 Center Street, said he looked outside right away - just as the storm hit.
A Near Miss but Neighbor Not So Lucky
"The wind picked up and it got really dark," he said. "Then it got real calm and then, all of a sudden, it picked up again."
The wind pulled down a big tree in the Canfield's front yard but the tree missed their house. The adjacent house, the home of Judith Lucabech and Louis Perez, didn't fare as well; a large tree slammed into its roof.
"When that tree fell, we ran over there to see if they were OK," Stella Canfield said. She said the "older couple" was not injured, but were forced to evacuate. They could not be reached for comment.
Across Center Street, John McAteer was making sure cars didn't go around a roadblock set up to allow Jersey Central Power & Light crews to work on the downed lines by the Canfield's house.
McAteer, who lives in a brick house at 200 Center Street, said the storm carved an path of downed trees that crossed behind his home and went over the former Lackawanna Cutoff adjacent to his house.
"I heard a whole lot of wind and then it went dead silent," he said. "All of a sudden, the wind started whipping like mad. Then it got quiet and then it started up again."
Nearby, particularly along Kingsland Road in Landing, other houses were damaged by downed trees, according to Roxbury Office of Emergency Management Director Bob Hackett.
McAteer and the Canfields praised Roxbury police, fire and emergency medical personnel who, they said, were quickly on the scene during the storm.
"No one was hurt, thankfully," said Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo. He said about 259 people were still without power Wednesday morning.
"First-responders did a great job last night," said the mayor.
The National Weather Service was warning that a second round of severe thunderstorms, possibly engendering tornado activity, was likely to hit the Roxbury area Wednesday afternoon and evening.
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