National Weather Service: 2 tornadoes touch down near Howell

Posted: Updated:
BROWNS MILLS -

Two tornadoes touched down near Howell on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

A tornado warning was issued for swaths of the state amid stormy weather early in the day.

The tornadoes were both confirmed as EF-0, the weakest tornado category with winds ranging from 65 to 85 mph.

In the town of Browns Mills, Trenton Road was turned into a trail of damage. It was left littered with downed trees, downed utility poles, transformers and live wires, and many homes and businesses were left without power.

One driver narrowly escaped injury when a live power line fell onto the roof of his truck as he drove through town at the height of the storm. It took crews more than hour to get him out safely.

"This is nuts -- it looks like a little twister came through downtown Browns Mills," says resident Bill Donahue.

The National Weather Service says the damage in Browns Mills is consistent with that of a microburst or straight-line winds. It estimates there were 75 mph winds in the town.

Strong, whipping winds and heavy rain also pounded parts of Spring Lake early in the morning. And in Keansburg, viewer photos show roads that were under water following the torrential rain.

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