Severe storms, lightning, wind and a possible tornado slammed South Jersey and Delaware Tuesday, toppling trees, damaging buildings and leaving thousands in the dark.
The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for Cape May County, New Jersey Tuesday afternoon. At 3:39 p.m., a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Green Creek, about eight miles north of Cape May, and moved east at 45 mph. The storm moved into Stone Harbor around 3:45 p.m. and Avalon around 3:50 p.m. The Warning was canceled shortly after 4 p.m.
The storms caused widespread power outages, nearing 39,000 at one point. As of midday Wednesday, about 5,000 customers remained without power in Cape May County. Officials say the most impacted areas by the storm were Lower Township, southern Middle Township and parts of Wildwood. They also said about a dozen homes were damaged.
The powerful winds tore off the roof of the public works building in Wildwood, New Jersey during the storm. Several trees also fell in the parking lot of a Home Depot on Indian Trail Road in Middle Township.
"[It was] very loud," said Kristin Jost, the store manager. "Some crashing. Outside the window you could see some lightning."
The winds knocked three heating and AC units out of place on the roof of the store, causing water to leak through. All of the customers got out safely and the store closed early.
"[We] gave them some water and really just worked on calming everybody down," Jost said.
A large tree also crashed through the Middle Township home of Chris Vasser during the storm. Vasser, who wasn't home at the time, was relieved to find out his two cats were safe.
"That's all I need," Vasser said. "Thank you Lord."
Vasser's neighbor, Bonnie Marks, told NBC10 she was there when the violent storm rolled through.
"It was like a tornado was coming down the street," Marks said. "A big wssssh! I was literally standing there shaking."
NBC10 First Alert Weather producer David Parkinson said a tornado may have touched down in Middle Township's Burleigh community though it has not yet been confirmed.
Despite all the damage, no injuries were reported.
Prior to the Tornado Warning, the NBC10 First Alert Weather Team issued a First Alert Weather Day due to severe thunderstorms that slammed Delaware and South Jersey with winds near 70 mph, lightning, heavy rain and hail.
Another line of storms moved into parts of Bucks, Mercer, Sussex and Kent counties Tuesday night. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was in effect for all of Delaware as well as Cumberland, Salem and Cape May counties but was later canceled around 10 p.m.
Conditions should clear overnight leading to a sunny and warm Wednesday with highs in the upper 80s.
Stay with NBC10.com for the latest weather updates.