Ida aftermath: Tornado causes severe damage in New Jersey

MULLICA HILL, N.J. — The effects of Hurricane Ida are still being felt hundreds of miles from where the Category 4 storm made landfall in Louisiana over the weekend.

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Homes in the southern New Jersey town of Mullica Hill were severely damaged Wednesday night by heavy rain, high winds and at least one tornado, reported.

The tornado destroyed at least nine homes early Wednesday, according to WCAU.

“I could see through the corner window…kind of like a whirlwind,” one homeowner, who asked not to be identified, told NJ Advance Media after the storm. “As (my wife) was … trying to close the door, the door came off.

“Thankfully we were all able to get down to the basement.”

Another resident said he watched his neighbor’s home being torn apart by the destructive storm.

“I heard the rumble and I (saw) stuff flying and I told my wife and kids to get in the basement,” the man, who also asked not to be identified, told WCAU. “And I looked out the window and I (saw) their house going. First thing I did was run over to their house to make sure they were all right.”

Despite multiple reported sightings of tornadoes in New Jersey on Wednesday, the National Weather Service’s Mount Holly office said it could only confirm the twister in Mullica Hill, reported. Sarah Johnson, a meteorologist at the office, said it will be reviewing other reports after the storms end, according to the website.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency late Wednesday in response to the remnants of Ida moving through the state.

“Stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe,” Murphy tweeted.

The tornado in Mullica Hill is said to have occurred at about 6:21 p.m. EDT, according to radar readings, The Cherry Hill Courier-Post reported.

The National Weather Service said shortly before 6:30 p.m. that “a confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado was located over Woodbury Heights, or 8 miles south of Gloucester City, moving northeast at 40 mph,” reported.