By Desirée Taylor
It looks like a tornado ripped through sections of Freehold, but the National Weather Service says it wasn’t. It was likely a super cell with a down burst of wind that packed a powerful punch there Saturday night.
“I’ve lived here 59 years and I’ve never seen destruction like this,” said Bob Matutis, who has lived in Freehold for 59 years.
Judy Yuen, a 35-year resident of the borough, said she was surprised to see a huge tree had snapped and landed on her car and the awning of her front porch. “I thought it was a thunderstorm,” said Yuen. “My daughter looked outside and said, ‘Oh my gosh Mom, a tree fell down.'”
Another resident, John Breslin, said his neighbor’s tree broke and hit the sun porch and roof. “We thought it was a tornado,” said Breslin. “It was that loud and violent.”
Monmouth County’s Director of Public Information, Bill Heine, was out surveying the damage today. He said fortunately there were no injuries. But the storm forced the evacuation of about 8,000 people attending the county fair Saturday night. Early Sunday morning, local officials declared a state of emergency and implemented a curfew. Heine said it will remain in effect until power has been fully restored.
JCP&L crews were out this morning trying to put the lights back on for its customers. As of this morning, nearly 1,000 residents were without power in the Freehold area. Utility officials expect that most effected people will have their power restored by this evening.
Freehold Borough and Freehold Township were both hit hard by another summer storm just a few weeks ago.