UPDATE: N.J. Weather: Dangerous thunderstorms with flash floods, hail, tornado possible Wednesday
Hanging wires, uprooted tree trunks and branches scattered around the campus. A dugout, torn from the baseball field, thrown upside down and blown back 20 feet. The facade of a high school entrance tore apart.
During a tour shortly after midnight on Wednesday, officials and police from Stanhope made their way through the dark campus of Lenape Valley Regional High School to make a preliminary assessment of the damage it suffered as a potential tornado and severe thunderstorms in the area came up.
"It Affected Housing, Power Lines, and High School," Brian McNeilly, The Stanhope Town Administrator reported on the storm.
Approximately 88% of Stanhope was out of power at midnight, and the streets throughout the city were closed off as crews worked to remove fallen branches and brushes. A transformer about a mile from the school had exploded in the storm, and a JCP & L substation serving the other side of the city was also out of service.
"In the Dark It's Really Difficult" to Recognize the full extent of the damage McNeilly added that the school officials would be out at sunrise to get a better idea of the effects of the storm.
Predictors have previously issued tornado warnings in the region, but still have to officially determine if the tornado landed in Stanhope is a tornado.
He arrived at around 8:30 pm As officials said that between 50 and 1
"The back windows, somehow bent inward," said Marie Raffay, who was at school at the time, to NJ Advance Media.
School officials gathered the crowd in the gym to wait for the storm, and then released people in small groups to their cars.
One group – two adults and two teenager girls – was in a car in front of the school when a tree fell on it, authorities said. When the local police arrived, the four of them got out of the car and were in the nurse's office at school.
The two teenagers had "superficial scratches and scratches from the glass," said answering officer Christopher Bork. They were released from first responders – their minor injuries were the only ones reported in the city during the entire storm. No one had to be taken away from school because of injury, officials said.
Crews cut up the tree, cleaned the scene, and at about 11:30 pm worked to remove the car. Tuesday.
Lenape Valley is closed on Wednesday. It is unclear whether additional closing days are required. Built in 1976, the school building serves some 800 students from three cities – Stanhope, Byram Township and Netcong.
Outside the campus, the area will continue to recover from the storm on Wednesday. Fallen trees fell on several houses, blocking roads and crowded neighborhoods. The dozens of Stanhope Police, Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, Public Works, Rescue and other agencies who dropped out late Tuesday would probably be back early Wednesday.
It will take a while, "McNeilly said around midnight, when the city would be working at full capacity again. "(But) we have received a lot of support from all sides."
The reporters Noah Cohen and Stephen Stirling contributed to this report.
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