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Heavy, Wet Snow Takes Down Trees Across New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The fourth nor'easter to hit New Jersey in three weeks took down trees across the state.

The storm also dropped roughly a foot of snow in some parts, with central Jersey seeing the highest amounts.

Police in Toms River said an 87-year-old woman who suffered from dementia and Alzheimer's disappeared overnight and was later found dead early Thursday morning. Her body was found about a mile away from her home.

The cause of death was not immediately known, but police said investigators do not suspect any criminal activity.

Thousands of customers were left without power Thursday morning. Later in the night, Jersey City Power & Light reported about 1,800 customers in the dark, while PSE&G had about 30 affected customers.

Caution tape and cones blocked off Cedar Street in Wall Township, while JCP&L worked to restore power.

"The power went off in the middle of the night, a few branches fell down. JCP&L is around, trying to do the best they can," resident Paul Bowen told CBS2's Meg Baker.

Neighbors were looking up, worried about massive trees on their property with branches weighed down by heavy, wet snow.

"It's definitely a concern and every storm, we get tons of branches," said resident Frank Forbes.

Police warned residents to stay alert.

"We've had a lot of wires go down, we've had some trees go down," Captain Greg Carpino said. "So just be very careful where you're walking, look above and be cognizant of your surroundings."

The best way to ensure your property is secure is to have a certified arborist inspect your trees annually, especially after a storm, Baker reported.

Manasquan's Director of Public Works Kevin Thompson, who is also an arborist, said the over-saturated ground combined with the stress of four storms could have weakened many trees.

"If you hear that creaking noise all the time, there could be a crack in a tree or a or split in a tree somewhere. It's not normally a good noise to hear," he said.

Most arborists will climb the tree to get a better sense of stability.

Thompson warned not to over trim trees. That can actually do more harm and kill them.

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency Tuesday night ahead of the storm. Dozens of schools cancelled classes Thursday due to treacherous travel conditions in many areas, while others had delayed openings.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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