Volunteers requested to help clean up area impacted by Manahawkin tornado

     Damage inside Fellowship Hall at the Manahawkin Baptist Church. (Photo: Stafford Strong via Facebook)

    Damage inside Fellowship Hall at the Manahawkin Baptist Church. (Photo: Stafford Strong via Facebook)

    A Barnegat church is seeking volunteers to lend a hand to the neighborhood impacted by the Manahawkin tornado.

    Anyone interested in helping clean up the Manahawkin Baptist Church and Lighthouse Christian Academy properties as well as the surrounding area are requested to see Lorraine Sherman at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Manahawkin, according to a Bayside Church spokesperson.

    The Lighthouse Christian Academy is located at the corner of Beach Avenue and Hilliard Boulevard. Call 609-597-3915 for more information.

    The EF-0 rated tornado — the weakest on the Enhanced Fujita Scale — touched down near the intersection of Route 9 and Oak Avenue at 10:05 a.m., packing an estimated maximum wind speed of 75-85 miles per hour along its 50-100 yard path, before lifting near the intersection of Hilliard Boulevard and Beach Avenue, according to a storm report issued by the National Weather Service.

    Despite its relative weakness, during its two-mile path, the twister blew down or snapped numerous trees, damaged the roof of several church buildings, and sent a tree crashing into a garage, the report states.

    There were no injuries or fatalities.

    “I was more scared in the 45 seconds of the storm than I was for the entire duration of Hurricane Sandy,” said Heather Nelke, who resides along the tornado’s path on Beach Avenue. “To put it in perspective, we had one tree down during Sandy. 13 snapped and uprooted today.” 

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