Manahawkin and Barnegat: Homes Struck By Lightning, Minor Fires, Flooding, Power Outages And More
Updates from authorities in Barnegat and Manahawkin on the impact of Friday's violent storm.
The violent storm that took residents and officials by surprise on Friday wreaked havoc on the area, causing power outage, vehicle damage, minor fires, interruptions in Internet and electrical service, homes struck by lightning, flash flooding and more in both Barnegat and Manahawkin.
No injuries resulted from the storm in either town, police officials said.
Below we provide a summary from the police departments in both Stafford and Barnegat townships.
The Stafford Township PD received more than 20 reports of homes struck by lightning yesterday, though only two homes suffered from minor fire damage as a result, according to the department's spokesman Lt. Tom Dellane.
"The rest suffered from power surges," Dellane said.
Several transformers exploded and one utility pole on Route 72 and the Garden State Parkway was struck by lightning, Dellane said. The top of the pole was split in pieces, which will require the pole's replacement, he said.
Flash flooding made sections of Route 72 almost impassable at certain points during the storm, especially areas near Route 9 and at the Lighthouse Drive intersection. Flooding issues affected Nautilus Drive, Neptune Drive, Outboard Avenue and many other streets in Ocean Acres, Manahawkin.
"A portion of Outboard Avenue washed out and will be closed to traffic between Forecastle Avenue and Privateer Road for about a week until repairs can be made," Dellane said.
Additionally, the violent weather damaged or destroyed approximately 10 vehicles, when the drivers attempted to pass through flooded roads, where water was reported to be reaching as high as four feet.
Power outages were reported in Ocean Acres and Beach Haven West, putting out many traffic signals as well.
"Our officers directed traffic at Route 72 and Mill Creek Road for several hours until power was restored to the signal," Dellane said.
Widespread reports of fallen tree limbs added to the chaos, with several of the tree limbs falling on power lines and further disrupting power to isolated areas.
According to the Barnegat Township police, beginning at approximately 12:22pm, Barnegat Township "experienced over two hours of severe thunderstorm activity," during which time the PD responded to 30 calls for service, with nearly half of those calls occurring during the first 30 minutes of the event, (90 percent of the calls for service were storm related).
The repots included: six lightning strikes, six fallen trees, two of which collapsed onto unoccupied vehicles, five calls for roadways blocked by trees and other debris, two light poles down and more.
There were no structural fires, according to Barnegat PD spokesman Lt. Keith German, some structures did suffer electrical damage due to lightning strikes, power surges, or water damage induced electrical shortage.
Starting yesterday afternoon, at around 3 p.m., Barnegat Department of Public Works personnel were working on removing downed trees and debris from various locations.
"With respect to power outages, while the JCP&L outage map shows nearly 4,000 customers without power in Barnegat, the Barnegat Police Department has received no reports of power outages from residents," Germain said.
The streets affected most severely by the storm included Route 9/East Bay Avenue, Freedom Hills Boulevard, Georgetown Boulevard, West Bay Avenue, Bayshore Drive, Hopper Lane, Mirage Boulevard, Esplanade Drive, Newport Street and more.