‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

Residents in places like West Milford dealt with some serious damage — fallen trees blocked roads and destroyed cars.

Kimberly Bukowiec and Lanette Espy

May 24, 2024, 10:15 AM

Updated 31 days ago


Many New Jersey neighborhoods continue cleaning up following severe storms that ripped across the state on Thursday.
Jersey Central Power & Light reported over 4,000 outages Friday morning, with most of them in the west and south of the state.
Residents in places like West Milford dealt with some serious damage — fallen trees blocked roads and destroyed cars. Some buildings suffered serious damage. News 12 New Jersey spoke with residents who saw their home get hit by a neighbor's tree.
A tree branch damaged a truck in the Hewitt section of West Milford on Friday, May 24, 2024. (News 12 photo: Kimberly Bukowiec)
Helena from Lake Shore Drive told News 12 that her neighbors who have been in the area for 40 to 50 years say nothing has happened before like this. One resident had an entire tree trunk break in half and ended up in a truck in her driveway.
"It was like a nightmare. Very scary," Helena said.
Another resident of Lake Shore Drive says they are stuck spending over $7,000 on removing the tree trunks that destroyed his fence and the shed he built in his yard.
"We have roof damage, we have shed damage, fence damage, brush damage, fence ruined," said homeowner Christopher Davis.
Davis says he's thankful though that he has power with the help of his generator.
"I have TV, I have cable, I have internet so basically I have it so nothing goes awry. It works out well if you're prepared for it," Davis said.
A lot of debris and some down trees remain at Lake Shore Drive in West Milford as of this morning. Homeowners in the neighborhood say they felt the storm at 7 a.m. as they were starting their day. High winds toppled trees onto the road and houses, and some crashed through cars and trucks.
News 12 crews found a tree on top of a pontoon boat. Utility poles were sliced, leaving power lines hanging or on the ground, and flooding hit some areas.
Local resident Joanne Silvano says, "I saw this tree crash into the truck it was the worst sound I've ever heard."
Armed with chainsaws and chippers, the West Milford Department of Public Works cleared Lake Shore Drive. They say repairs are ongoing to restore all the power.

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