Video by: Isaiah Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist/’What’s Good’ Host
Story by: Katie Francis, Follow South Jersey News Reporting Intern
MULLICA HILL, N.J. — “It wasn’t a regular thunderstorm.”
The Penailillo household is just one of many that suffered severe damage in Mullica Hill from the remnants of Hurricane Ida on Wednesday.
Homeowner Leo Penailillo, his wife, and their daughter were not at home when the storm hit, but nephew Cergio Carrasco and his girlfriend were. Carrasco recalls hearing the rain and wind and noticing it getting louder and louder. When he realized it wasn’t an ordinary storm he called for his girlfriend to take a look.
Moments after, a tree fell onto the roof, breaking through into the home right next to Carrasco’s girlfriend. Fortunately, she only suffered a bruise on her arm, and the two were able to get to the basement for the remainder of the storm.
Their house is insured, but that was the least of the family’s concerns.
“The most important part is everyone is okay,” Carrasco said Thursday.
According to the National Weather Service, Gloucester County’s Mullica Hill experienced a confirmed EF-3 tornado with estimated peak winds of up to 150 miles per hour. The powerful tornado began in Harrisonville and traveled 12.6 miles until it subsided in Deptford.
Two other tornadoes were also confirmed in New Jersey as a result of Ida, and a total of seven were confirmed in South Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. Princeton experienced an EF-0 tornado and Edgewater Park was hit with an EF-1. Fortunately, all three resulted in only minor injuries and no fatalities.
Along with the Penailillo household, many families are working on recovering from storm damage. Family, friends, and residents of Mullica Hill have come together to help one another by forming a community Facebook page. This page allows members to post donation drop off locations, offer free services, and it provides links to GoFundMe pages and Amazon Wish Lists for families in need. One GoFundMe page has already collected more than $40,000 for storm relief in The Crossroads neighborhood in town.
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