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Toms River Cleaning Up After Microburst Destroys Homes, Downs Trees

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Residents in Ocean County are cleaning up after a violent storm destroyed homes and cars.

The damage in one neighborhood in Toms River is vast, reported CBS2's Nick Caloway.

Block after block, there are downed trees and destroyed houses. The wind was so strong a trailer went airborne and landed on a neighboring property.

As cleanup crews begin the massive effort to return things to normal, residents are getting a good look at the damage.

Drone Force 2 shows the destruction from above in the neighborhoods near Bay Avenue in Toms River.

Strong winds brought trees down on homes and cars Tuesday afternoon.

"The wind, you could see, like, bands. You could see it swirling," said Toms River resident Eric Hawley.

Hawley's family on Barbara Lane ran to the basement as the storm intensified.

"So we ran down, shut the door, and we heard a loud 'Boom!' The house shook," he said.

A pair of large trees fell on his house and two cars. The cars are totaled, his roof damaged.

Just a few houses down, Lori Hamoy's family saw more large trees collapse in their back yard.

"It sounded like a train coming through. They watched the trees fall on the property. It was pretty scary," Hamoy said.

Just a couple blocks away on Sharon Drive, Jana Oberlin was homeschooling her child when the storm hit.

"It was terrifying. I've never experienced anything like it," Oberlin said.

She and her family ran for the basement, but the storm was too fast. A massive tree sliced through her roof.

"We were literally like in between those two branches. Like hovered down. We were-- I don't know. I don't want to get emotional," Oberlin said.

The home has been condemned, one of several houses in the neighborhood deemed unlivable after the storm.

The National Weather Service says preliminary information suggests it was a microburst that caused the destruction, not a tornado.

Town officials say fortunately there were no serious injuries or deaths, something Jana Oberlin is thankful for.

"That's what I'm most grateful for. This can be fixed. We have plenty of family and friends that are here for us. So we'll be OK," she said.

Oberlin told Caloway things were already crazy enough with the coronavirus pandemic. Now so many people here left picking up the pieces after this storm.

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