By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
TRENTON, N.J. — On Friday morning, Governor Phil Murphy said during an interview on NBC’s “Today” that the remnants of Hurricane Ida have now claimed 25 lives in New Jersey. Six people are also still missing as a result of the storm that brought devastating flooding and multiple tornadoes to the Garden State.
According to Gov. Murphy, all 25 deaths are attributed to flooding in cars or homes. Northern New Jersey was hit hardest by flooding and torrential rain, while the southern part of the state dealt with more severe storms.
“It’s an absolute tragedy,” he said.
Although seven different confirmed tornadoes caused massive amounts of damage to homes and property in South Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania, Gov. Murphy said that there were no fatalities in New Jersey as a result of the extreme storms. One particular tornado in Mullica Hill was categorized as an EF-3 tornado with winds of up to 150 miles per hour.
Two of the other confirmed tornadoes were located in Edgewater Park, Fort Washington, and Upper Dublin. The Edgewater Park tornado was an EF-1 twister with top winds of up to 90 miles per hour, and the one in Fort Washington and Upper Dublin was an EF-2 tornado that featured top wind speeds of 130 miles per hour.
“I don’t know if it’s human nature or not, but tornado warnings get heeded immediately,” Gov. Murphy said. “As awful as that was, as destructive as it was, I visited with the families yesterday. Everybody went down to the basement and lived.”
The Enhanced Fujita tornado rating scale scores tornadoes from zero to five, with five being the most dangerous and zero being the weakest.
For reference, New Jersey typically averages about two tornadoes per year. This year, there have already been 13 confirmed tornado touchdowns in the Garden State. 1989 was New Jersey’s record year for tornadoes, as there were 17 confirmed cyclones that year.
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