SUMMIT, NJ - A relatively brief, but violent thunderstorm --- described as "an atmospheric firehose" by accuweather.com, pelted Summit Monday morning, with heavy winds and torrential rain damaging homes, downing power lines and leaving hundreds without power. The National Weather Service completed a survey of the local damage this evening and will be making a determination later tonight as to whether a tornado occurred as part of today's storm event.
As of 8 p.m., parts of Division and Hobart Avenues remained closed, as crews from Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) worked to fix downed electrical lines and restore power. According to Summit City Administrator Christopher J. Cotter, there was no firm estimate on the total number of homes that lost power, but he estimated that "hundreds of residences" were still without power as of 8 p.m., with JCP&L stating that most will have their service restored by Midnight, with the remainder restored Tuesday morning. The JCP&L outage map noted outages on Evergreen Road, Hobart Avenue, Passaic Avenue, Morris Avenue and several other locations.
Cotter said that no injuries were reported, and that nine properties reported structural damage from falling trees and limbs. Two of the homes have been deemed not habitable due to the extent of the damage. "We are urging residents to continue to use extreme caution around downed electric wires," he said.
The National Weather Service lifted the Tornado Warning that had been issued Monday morning for Union and Essex Counties, however a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through Tuesday evening. A plume of moisture extending up the East Coast from the Gulf of Mexico will continue a pattern of heavy showers and thunderstorms for the region through Tuesday evening. In general., one to one and a-half inches of additional rainfall is forecast for the region.
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