An EF-2 tornado touched down in New Jersey on Tuesday, leveling trees, damaging homes and displacing about 100 residents, officials confirmed Wednesday.
The twister — the first to strike New Jersey in the month of February since 1999 and fifth since 1950 — touched down in Mercer County at 3:35 p.m., the National Weather Service said.
Though it lasted only about six minutes, the tornado produced whipping winds of up to 115 mph, making it one of the strongest ever recorded in the state’s history.
The tornado left a straight path of damage as it ripped through the central New Jersey county. Buildings and trees were toppled from a residential section of the county through a park and into a golf course, the NWS said.
“Fortunately no injuries were reported despite the serious damage to homes, buildings, cars and landscape, including at our Mercer Oaks golf course,” county Executive Brian Hughs said.
The Lawrence Square Village neighborhood bore the brunt of the damage, the county said.
As many as 100 residents have been displaced by the rare cyclone, Chris Longo, the Chief of Police of Lawrence Township, told CBS.
Longo shared footage of the significant damage at a Lawrence Square Village housing development, where 27 apartment units were left uninhabitable.
Debris and shrubbery could be seen lining the streets as responders worked to remove the rubble.
County officials expect clean-up efforts to continue through the rest of the week.
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