Fallen trees cause widespread damage as powerful storm tears through West Milford

Residents living along Lake Shore Drive felt the storm at 7 a.m. as they were starting their day.

Chris Keating

May 23, 2024, 9:36 PM

Updated 21 days ago

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Homeowners in a West Milford neighborhood impacted by storm damage want to know if a tornado touched down Thursday morning.
Residents living along Lake Shore Drive felt the storm at 7 a.m. as they were starting their day. High winds toppled trees onto the road and houses. Some crashed through cars and trucks. News 12 crews even found a tree on top of a pontoon boat.
Utility poles were sliced, leaving power lines hanging or on the ground. Armed with chainsaws and chippers, the West Milford Department of Public Works cleared Lake Shore Drive.
The Nieves family suffered significant damage to their home when a tree from a homeowner's property fell on their roof. Another fell onto one of their cars in the driveway.
“There’s really no words,” Jose Nieves said. “It’s 19 years that we’ve been here. We’ve finally got the home the way we want it and a storm comes in and destroyed the whole thing.”
His wife and two children were inside when the tree struck the home but none were injured.
“I was in the living but my boys were in the bedroom,” Kathia Nieves said.
A nearby resident, Beverly Armeno, told News 12 that she's now waiting for the power to come back on.
“No power, no water, nothing,” Armeno said. “It was loud and very windy. Extremely windy."
Armeno was still lying in bed at 7 a.m. when the wind started blowing. She gave News 12 a tour of the backyard where patio furniture was sent flying and tree branches littered the grass.
Orange and Rockland utility says 2,292 customers in New Jersey lost their electricity. They say repairs are ongoing to restore all the power.


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