No injuries were reported. But authorities said the storms - which contained strong winds, heavy rains and dangerous lightning - knocked down trees and power lines in many towns and caused some moderate property damage. The weather also forced the cancellations of some sporting events, including several high school football games and minor league baseball playoff games in Trenton and Lakewood.
About 36,000 customers statewide were without power as of 9:15 p.m. Thursday. By 6:30 a.m. Friday, utilitiy workers had reduced that number to around 15,000. About a third of the outages were in Perth Amboy, where the mayor declared a state of emergency. Atlantic City reported about 3,000 customers without power.
The storm hit southwestern areas of the state around 5 p.m. and quickly moved north, spawning winds that reached more than 60 mph in some areas. There were reports of funnel clouds in central Jersey and the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the region, but forecasters said it did not appear that any tornados had actually occurred.
Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz declared a state of emergency in her Middlesex County community, ordering city employees to launch a "massive cleanup."
The storm was also affecting travel in some areas, as police directed traffic in areas where the storm knocked out traffic lights.
NJ Transit reported delays of 20 to 30 minutes on the North Jersey Coast Line outbound from Hazlet to Long Branch and inbound from Middletown to New York due to downed trees. Normal service was restored around 7:45 p.m., and no further delays were reported.
Meanwhile, storm-related delays - some as long as an hour - were being reported at Newark Liberty International Airport and other area airports, mostly involving arriving flights.