OCEAN COUNTY – Thousands of homes and businesses were left without power around different areas of the county – more than 5,000 in Toms River alone – following an afternoon storm that brought thunder, lighting and a burst of torrential rain.
Homes and businesses lost electricity around 2:15 p.m. according to the Jersey Central Power & Light outage website.
The utility company would not provide any estimates of when service would be restored due to the widespread outages. Lakehurst and Manchester residences and businesses were hit hard as were sections of Southern Ocean County.
There have also been reports on police scanners across the county of trees and power lines that went down as a result of the storm which lasted for around 25 minutes in most areas.
Some of the downed lines and trees blocked roads and one downed wire ignited a fire in Toms River. Details of the fire and other outages are not immediately available.
It was noted by some business owners that while some businesses were untouched by power loss, others nearby were.
Sunshine is now gracing the area in most areas of the county whereas the storm began with a variety of dark clouds and within minutes a strong wind with sheets of rain impacting pedestrians on streets and travelers on the road.
Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy said “we urge the public to stay off the roads until further notice. This storm which has come through our county is putting a lot of work on all of us.”
The Sheriff added, “Please stay home for now if you can.”