The tornado that caused damage in the Princeton area first touched down along Emmons Drive near Route 1 in West Windsor, according to a preliminary report from the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
The tornado was a “remnant supercell” that moved north after producing the Mullica Hill and Burlington tornadoes Wednesday as Tropical Storm Ida moved through the region. It touched down at about 7:32 p.m. The tornado’s path was just under three miles long, and its width was about 100 yards, according to the National Weather Service.
After touching down along Emmons Drive, the tornado took down tree branches near the Whole Foods parking lot in West Windsor, then continued to damage trees along Farber Road, Meadow Drive, and Canal Pointe Boulevard next to Route 1. Medium-size trees were also uprooted and numerous tree branches were brought down along the western periphery of the Marketfair shopping parking lot. The tornado continued northward, damaging trees along Carnegie Center Boulevard, and snapping and uprooting pine trees and several small hardwood trees. The tornado also knocked down several utility poles and power lines along Washington Road. The tornado then continued along lower Harrison Street near Lake Carnegie in Princeton before lifting somewhere over the lake.
The tornado was classified as a level EF-0 tornado and was traveling at an estimated speed of 65 to 85 miles per hour. The enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes in five categories, with zero being the weakest and five being the strongest and most violent tornadoes.
Readers reported that some of the trees and poles in the tornado’s path along Washington Road looked like they had been decapitated, causing them to suspect the damage was done by a tornado.