Strong thunderstorms prompt tornado alerts in New Jersey and New York

Powerful thunderstorms that can quickly spawn tornadoes moved across the tristate area Tuesday evening, prompting the National Weather Service to issue Tornado Watches and Tornado Warnings for the evening.

The storms knocked down trees and caused other damage in several communities. Authorities said a possible tornado may have hit Lenape Valley Regional High School in Lenape, N.J., but that has not been confirmed yet. No one was hurt. Education officials said that the school will stay closed on Wednesday and that after-school activities are canceled.

The NWS issued Tornado Warnings for several counties in New Jersey and Staten Island in New York at different points in the evening.

A Tornado Watch was in effect for many counties in New Jersey until 10 p.m. A watch means that the conditions could be favorable for the formation of tornadoes. It does not mean that a tornado is imminent.

"Although a tornado is not immediately likely, if one is spotted, act quickly and move to a place of safety inside a sturdy structure such as a basement or small interior room," the National Weather Service said. "For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building."

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