Possible tornado causes damage in rare New Jersey event

By Thomas Leffler,

A possible tornado struck central New Jersey late Tuesday, a rare February event for the state, leaving behind heavy damage to homes and other structures and impacting local travel during the rush-hour commute.

There have been no reports of injuries.


At 3:41 p.m. EST Tuesday, the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, N.J., reported a radar-indicated tornado in the Hamilton Square, Twin Rivers and Highstown areas of Mercer County, just north of Trenton. The NWS had issued a tornado warning at 3:41 p.m. EST for those locations through 4:15 p.m.

At the same time, a tornado debris signature appeared on radar near Lawrence Township.

Police Chief Christopher Longo, of the Lawrence Township Police Department, shared footage of the significant damage at the Lawrence Square Village housing development, urging residents who have been displaced to head to a nearby command post for help. Lawrence Township Fire and Emergency Services Chief Jack Oakley told AccuWeather Prime on Tuesday evening that about 27 housing units were uninhabitable due to the damage.

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said local officials were getting "reports from around the county of wind-related damage, downed trees and building damage. Our Mercer County road crews are en route to assist in local clean-ups." Hughes asked resident to "please stay off the roadways if possible."

In nearby Princeton Junction, photos and videos of damage were captured, with numerous downed trees and power lines and large debris littering neighborhoods. Heavy wind damage was also reported in the area of West Windsor, with parts of roofs torn off homes and buildings, trees uprooted and cars damaged.

Latest Headlines