Possible tornado damages condos, cars, and businesses in Lawrence

The scene at Lawrence Square Village Tuesday evening after the storm. Photo courtesy of Patricia K. Johnson.

The Lawrence Square Village condominium complex, commercial buildings, and several vehicles were damaged during a storm at about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, just after the National Weather Service in Mount Holly issued a tornado warning for Southeastern Mercer County.

The storm caused trees to topple onto cars. Large tree branches blocked roads at Lawrence Square Village, which is located just off Route 1 and Quakerbridge Road.

Photos shared by residents showed large trees pulled up at the roots. The winds also damaged the roofs of several condominiums.

About 60 residents have been displaced due to the damage. The Red Cross is on the scene, along with Volunteers of America. The organizations are helping displaced residents find temporary housing.

No injuries were reported as a result of the storm damage, police said.

The National Weather Service has been contacted about the damage, police said. The weather service is aware of the weather event that entered Lawrence Township and experts have indicated that it was a possible tornado. No one has officially confirmed that a tornado touched down.

Utility lines were brought down during the storm, causing the closure of Route 1 in both directions from Interstate 295 to Bakers Basin Road. Downed trees also caused the closure of a portion of Quakerbridge Road in both directions. 

Police departments and fire departments from surrounding agencies within Mercer County responded and assisted the Lawrence Police and Lawrence fire departments and emergency services personnel with road closures and scene safety, police said.

The extent of the damage and any hazards will be assessed more thoroughly during daylight hours, police said. 

Police are asking residents to use extreme caution and stay away from any downed wires. Drivers are being asked to avoid the area of Quakerbridge Road until the hazards can be removed.

A better assessment of the storm damage will be done during daylight hours, police said.

Quakerbridge Road remains closed in both directions due to the trees across the road. 

Any Lawrence resident seeking assistance should contact the Lawrence Police or 1-800 Red Cross.

In West Windsor, about 300 PSE&G customers were without power Tuesday night due to the storm, and a few hundred JCP&L customers still did not have power back. Most residents are expected to have their power restored by midnight.

Police said roads that have been closed are expected to be re-opened by midnight, with the exception of Village Road from Old Trenton Road to South Lane. Village Road will not reopen until the morning rush hour, police said. In West Windsor, no structural damage to homes has been reported. About 100 properties had some sort of damage from debris or fallen trees and branches. No injuries have been reported.

The roof was ripped off of some condominium units at Lawrence Square Village. About 60 residents were displaced. Photo courtesy of Patricia K. Johnson.
Storm damage. Photo courtesy of Patricia K. Johnson.
Trees were uprooted due to the possible tornado. Photo courtesy of Patricia K. Johnson.