NWS: Tornado tossed baseball field bleachers before entering residential area in N.J.

Tornado damage in the Lincroft section of Middletown Township. (NWS image)

Tornado damage in the Lincroft section of Middletown Township. (NWS image)

A tornado caused damage in a central New Jersey county Wednesday, the National Weather Service confirmed on Thursday.

Meteorologists conducted an on-site survey in the Lincroft section of Middletown and determined that a 70 yard wide, 80 mph EF0 tornado, the weakest on the Fujita scale that ranges to EF5, moved through an 1.21 mile area between 9:57 and 9:59 a.m.

According to the survey, the tornado touched down on a baseball field on the Brookdale Community College campus, tossing a set of metal bleachers before crossing into a residential area and damaging trees. The tornado then passed near the Swimming River Reservoir before moving through another residential area.

“The tornado did not appear to cause any direct structural damage, though a couple of homes sustained damage from falling tree debris,” a NWS statement said. “Thankfully, no injuries occurred as a result of this tornado.”

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for northeastern Monmouth County at 10:03 a.m. Wednesday after radar indicated rotation over Lincroft. A bulletin advising of a strong thunderstorm over that area was issued at 9:55 a.m., followed by a severe thunderstorm warning at 10:01 a.m.

Homeowner Ben Harris told the Asbury Park Press he hurried his family into the basement of their home as the storm approached.

“When we got to the basement, you heard everything just stop, it just went quiet,” said Harris. “I think it was a tornado because I never heard anything go silent like that.”

It’s the fourth tornado in the Jersey Shore area since April, according to the National Weather Service. In April, a tornado crossed an Ocean County barrier island, and two were spawned as Tropical Storm Isaias impacted the state earlier this month.

The Associated Press contributed reporting. 

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