NEW JERSEY - National Weather Service officials on Thursday were trying to determine if a tornado touched down as a severe thunderstorm moved across a portion of New Jersey.
Heavy rain and powerful winds sent residents scrambling in the Lincroft section of Middletown on Wednesday.
A tornado warning was in effect at the time.
Dozens of trees came down, including a 70-foot tree that fell through the roof of a home. Hundreds of homes and businesses lost electricity.
No injuries were reported.
The storm is still officially under investigation by authorities, but homeowners who lived through it told FOX 5 NY that they are convinced it was a tornado.
"I saw the leaves circling, and I was like 'Wow, that's really scary,'" said Dave Jensen, a Middletown resident. "And then all of a sudden, by my house, it just disappeared."
People living nearby describe the worst of the storm as both sudden and brief, but the devastation it left behind is obvious, in the form of multiple downed trees and homes damaged.
"We ran down to the basement," said Maggie Zeik. "And we were down there for like five minutes until everything kind of calmed down and then when we came up, it was devastated. We have no trees left in our backyard."
The storm left thousands without power just weeks after Tropical Storm Isaias knocked out power to 1.4 million people in New Jersey alone.
With the Associated Press