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Tornado Confirmed In Essex County; Residents In New Jersey Face Big Cleanup

HIGH HARBOR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - After Thursday's storm, residents in parts of New Jersey have a big cleanup ahead.

The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down in Essex County. Big trees were uprooted in Verona.

The path of a possible tornado could be seen in the trail of damage left behind along Arnold Boulevard in the High Bar Harbor section of Long Beach Island.

As CBS2's Meg Baker reports, windows were shattered, trees knocked down, power lines left hanging, debris thrown everywhere and, the worst of it, multiple roofs ripped right off.

Residents of one home say they hid in the stairwell as what is thought to be a tornado ravaged their home and threw their boats up against their cars.

No one was hurt.

Police say they received three calls for medical assistance for lacerations.

"All of a sudden, it just felt like rumbling. It's like the whole house was shaking like a train went by," Tim Piringer said.

Piringer and his wife and dog were watching TV as the alerts came in.

The back of his house now has glass everywhere and lawn furniture thrown around.

"Holy crap, my boat's upside down. I had to go get my glasses because I'm like, you know, and I'm like, oh my god, how did that-- this is 5,000 pounds. Just taken off the trailer, and it's upside down," he said.

The power of Mother Nature can be seen throughout the neighborhood.

A lawn chair was lodged in a tree, and rooms were completely demolished in some homes.

Across the lagoon, men tried to fish out a shed they think is now submerged.

Residents took shelter when they realized how serious the threat was.

"We all went into the narrow hallway, and we waited for it to die down," Joey Tighue said.

"I have two kids, so last night when we got the tornado warning, I was like, 'Let's put our helmets on.' They were like, 'What?' I'm like, 'The bike helmets, let's put them on.' They're like, 'Why?' And I'm like, ''Cause there's a tornado warning,'" Pat Emery said.

Friday, power was restored to all but 15 homes, which suffered extensive damage and have been deemed unsafe.

Residents say the cleanup will take months.

Meg Baker contributed to this report. 

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