New Jersey Declares State of Emergency as Ida Remnants Bring Tornadoes, Flooding

By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor

Photo: @ThunderThoden via Twitter

MULLICA HILL, N.J. — The remnants of Hurricane Ida arrived in New Jersey on Wednesday, and they brought several strong thunderstorms, tornadoes, and widespread flooding to the Garden State throughout Wednesday evening.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency on Wednesday night, which allows the state to access federal funding to assist in the relief effort. The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down in Mullica Hill and destroyed several homes in its path. Some reports indicate that 100 homes were damaged and nine others were completely destroyed by the tornado.

You can see videos of the tornado and some of the damage below:

This morning, Governor Phil Murphy is touring the damaged areas in Mullica Hill. The Harmony Fire Company said on Facebook that the Gloucester County Technical Rescue Task Force was deployed to assist “multiple victims trapped.” County officials also started an emergency shelter at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology, according to the Clearview Regional School District.

“Gloucester County has experienced devastating storm damage. It is likely that multiple tornadoes have touched down within our communities,” Gloucester County’s Office of Emergency Management said in a statement.

Although there were reports of other tornadoes that touched down in South Jersey — including one in Beverly, which is approximately 10 miles southwest of Trenton — the National Weather Service had only confirmed the Mullica Hill tornado at the time of publication. One video showed a tornado barrelling past the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, which you can see below:

The remnants of Hurricane Ida were the second tropical weather system to hit New Jersey in the past two weeks. Though it didn’t hit the state directly, Tropical Storm Henri brought a month’s worth of rainfall to some New Jersey towns in a single day, and Ida’s remnants brought similar rainfall totals to those areas again. Hurricane Ida initially made landfall in Louisiana before cutting through the southeastern United States and making its way to New Jersey.

Fourteen people in New York and New Jersey were confirmed to have been killed by the storm. All of the confirmed deaths were the result of flooding in North Jersey, but the status of individuals impacted by the tornadoes in South Jersey is unclear at this time.

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