WARETOWN – Downed trees and damaged facilities have caused Well Mills County Park in Ocean Township to close throughout the weekend, and maybe longer.
“Trees were snapped in half, and the playground equipment also sustained damage,” said Michael Mangum, Director, Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation. “We have hundreds of trees down and until we can clear them, we will keep the park closed to the public for safety reasons.”
County officials said the park will be closed for the weekend and will be reassessed on Monday.
Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy said the area of the Cedar Bridge Tavern Historic Site in Barnegat Township, the dock area of Barnegat Township and the area of Arnold Avenue on Long Beach Island sustained a lot of damage, too. The Sheriff’s Office is working with the Parks Department, National Weather Service, and local Offices of Emergency Management to document storm damage.
The Sheriff’s Department was doing wellness checks door-to-door on the night of the storm. The department is also reviewing drone footage of the aftermath. The work is being supervised by Captain Joseph Greene of the Sheriff’s Office Drone Unit and Captain David Schenk of the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management.
“My office is assisting the National Weather Service in determining whether the damage was caused by tornadoes,” Mastronardy said.
There were several residents who saw tornadoes, but these have yet to be confirmed by weather experts.
Three dozen houses were damaged – some with the roofs blown off – in Long Beach Island, police reported. There were multiple boats damaged as well.
Residents say they spotted a tornado around Antioch Rd., Arnold Blvd, Collier Avenue and Sunset Blvd. in the High Bar Harbor section of LBI. Three residents in the area were treated on scene for lacerations and several residents were evacuated and taken to the Barnegat Light Firehouse for shelter, police said.
There was also assistance provided from Stafford Township Fire and First Aid Squads in addition to each Fire and First Aid Squad on Long Beach Island. Berkeley Hazmat, the Long Beach Township Transportation Department shuttle buses and Long Beach Township Department of Public Works also assisted.
Suspected tornadoes were spotted in Barnegat and the Silverton section of Toms River, although not confirmed by the National Weather Service. It’s said a suspected tornado traveled through Route 72 in Barnegat. Barnegat Police said there were several wires and trees down on Route 72 and Route 539.
-Alyssa Riccardi contributed to this story