Cranbury recovering from severe storm

Residents in Cranbury were woken up and alarmed when a severe thunderstorm storm recently caused damage.

In the early hours of April 15, winds that mimicked ones from a tornado caused severe damage to some resident’s homes and property.

Sally O’Grady, who lives on South Main Street, felt the brunt of the storm.

“We had our trees fall on top of our three cars. One we are getting repaired, one we junked, and the other we are waiting on an estimate,” O’Grady said. “We have three other neighbors on our street that experienced the same type of damage. This was really bad.”

She said her family had lost about 60% of the trees in their backyard.

“We are talking about huge trees. I had 20 of my friends over just to help me clean the yard. Behind my house I have a garden that is in the woods, with walking trails and that is just completely devastated as well,” O’Grady said. “Trees are down and there are broken bird baths, because of this storm.”

Committeeman Matt Scott helped O’Grady clean out the underbrush and garden. He said he brought members of his daughter’s Girl Scout Troop to assist in O’Grady’s call for help, which he had seen on Facebook.

She said one of her neighbor’s yard had their trampoline in the tree, another neighbor lost a shed and another had a damaged garage and car due to the storm.

“With this occurring on South Main Street, the damage is away from the road, which made it difficult for people to see what had happened with this storm to my neighbors and I,” O’Grady said.

She said she was able to get all the trees that fell on her three cars out of the front yard.

“I had no idea the damage would be this bad when the storm came. I woke up at 4 in the morning when it was happening. I shut my windows, because the water and wind were coming straight across into the house,” O’Grady said.

It will take her family months to clear the backyard from the damage, according to O’Grady.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm was at first being labeled a possible tornado. But when the storm ended, the National Weather Service  concluded that it was instead a severe storm.

Cranbury Township Mayor James Taylor was one of the O’Grady’s neighbors on South Main Street to also receive damage.

“My shed was destroyed due to one of the big trees falling onto it. I knew it was bad too that morning because of the sounds made from the wind and trees. Police also were outside and told us to stay in because there were was also a down power line,” Mayor Taylor said.