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Somers Point/Linwood F1 Tornado
July 7, 2001

General Overview | Picture of Funnel | Pictures of Damage | Special Thanks

Tornado Touch-Down Points

On July 5, 2001, an F1 Tornado moved through the towns of Somers Point and Linwood in Atlantic County, NJ a few minutes after 6:00 pm. Meteorologist Jim Eberwine conducted a storm survey of the damage later that evening, and again the following day (both ground and aerial survey).

General Overview

What may have formed as a Waterspout over the Patcong Creek southwest of Somers Point, NJ moved across Somers Point from a west southwest to east northeast direction, into the town of Linwood for several blocks before moving into the marshes.

The first residence experiencing wind damage was approximately adjacent to mile marker 30.4 of the Garden State Parkway. Some "old" small trees were knocked down at a residence on Bala Drive.

The path was not continuous, in a line about 1.25 to 2 miles. The width was, at its widest point, 75-100 yards. Except for part of a porch being damaged at the end of a house on Chapman Drive, there was surprisingly very little structural damage.

The last property with evidence of the storm was adjacent to the marsh on Candlewood Drive. Several branches and uprooted trees were spotted, with two birdhouses on 1 1/2" steel pipes bent and twisted.

A residence on Chapman Drive, just off Route 9, had several trees uprooted and snapped off. One tree landed on a vehicle heavily damaging it. The heavy rains over the previous few days had saturated the ground and contributed to the large uprooted trees. Others were "twisted" off around 10 feet above the ground, each going in different directions. A short distance away, on Route 9, was a nursery with large plate glass windows. Not one was broken.

At a residence on West Royal Drive in Linwood, a gentleman was in his front yard when it started to rain heavy. He heard a "swishing" noise then saw his trash cans get picked up. The trash cans then moved to the west (opposite the storm motion), seconds later the trash cans came back overhead moving to the east. A tree in his front yard was twisted off about 9 feet above the ground.

At a residence on Bucknell Drive, a small aluminum boat was picked up in one yard and carried into the neighbors yard behind the pool. Their fence was felled in different directions. A piece of the fence was found on the backside of the house opposite the storm motion. The property behind them had a patio cushion wedged into the corner of the house. Evidence of terrific wind force. The person in the house said the dog started scratching at the glass sliding door several minutes before the storm hit.

At a residence across the street also on Bucknell Drive, a 25 year old tree approximately 50 feet high was twisted out of the ground. The decorative stone untouched. The homeowner also reported that the doorway leading to the attic was banging up and down as the storm passed overhead.

The Somes Point EOC has weather recording instruments. The office is just a few blocks south of where the damage was. Here The observations (although not too revealing except for the pressure drop):

Time Temperature Wind Direction/Speed Barometric Pressure Precipitation
4:00 pm EDT 80.1 F SSW 10-20 mph 29.894 inches 0.00 inches
6:00 pm EDT 75.8 F SSW 10-20 mph 29.880 inches 0.02 inches
8:00 pm EDT 73.9 SW 6-21 mph 29.913 inches 0.01 inches

Picture of Funnel

Picture of funnel.

The funnel was first spotted by Alan Singer, and the Photograph was taken by Ronald Fallon. These gentlemen were standing on the Longport/Somers Point Bridge at mid-span. The storm evolved into a "black diamond" appearance then appears to "snake" its way along before touching down. The funnel grew in size at touchdown, then became smaller as it lifted up. 

Pictures of Damage

Basketball backboard and pole and other object knocked down. Picture of patio furniture tossed around by winds Picture of boat which was moved into neighbors yard. Another picture of boat in neighbors yard.
Fences knocked down. Picture of tree split open. Picture of trees which fell on car (trees down in different directions) Picture of tree uprooted by strong winds
Picture of another tree which was partially uprooted. Aerial picture of damage.

Special Thanks to:

" " John Reinolh, Somers Point Emergency Management, and Messrs. Ellis and Carlin.
" " Vince Jones, Atlantic County Coordinator
" " Ed Conover, Deputy Atlantic County Coordinator
" " Nick Mazza, New Jersey State Police, Office of Emergency Management
" " Somers Point Police Department
" " U.S. Coast Guard for use of their HH65 Dolphine helicopter, and its crew

General Overview | Picture of Funnel | Pictures of Damage | Special Thanks

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