Damage cleanup continues after EF-3 tornado strikes Gloucester County

"The family room window had just blown in. You could see the house was just full of leaves," one homeowner said.
SEWELL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Almost a week after an EF-3 tornado swept through Gloucester County, New Jersey, the cleanup continues on the Legge's property on Mantua Boulevard in Sewell.

"The house was, like, shaking and then glass broke, a loud pop and the electric went out," recalled John Legge.

He said it was Action News coverage that helped him make the decision to take cover in the basement.

"We turned Channel 6 on," Legge said. "Typically we don't go to the basement for tornado warnings because they never strike here. But as we were watching it, it was getting closer and closer... I told my wife and two girls that we need to get to the basement."

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Some homes were utterly destroyed, some were badly damaged, while others were barely touched by a tornado that hit Mullica Hill, New Jersey

After the tornado had passed, they discovered blown-out windows, roof damage, a collapsed porch and many of their trees down.

"On the backside of the house, the family room window had just blown in. You could see the house was just full of leaves," said Legge. The family's small Christmas tree farm also took a hit as the tornado blew some of those trees down.

Across the street, Delaware Valley Floral Services is up and running now, but they lost some of their inventory during the storm, and much of their sales team is working remotely - again.

"We did sustain some heavy damage to the front of our building," said co-owner John Wilkins. "All throughout our office areas, our sales centers where our office people work, we sustained heavy water damage on the inside."

We found crews in Deptford and Wenonah chopping up massive trees that were blown down last week.

As residents clean up, a FEMA mobile unit is stationed at the Gloucester County Library in Mullica Hill, helping people register for FEMA assistance.

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Investigators from the National Weather Service confirmed an EF-2 tornado from the Fort Washington area of Upper Dublin Township to Horsham, Pa.

A federal disaster declaration was made earlier this week for six counties in New Jersey, including Gloucester, making emergency funds available to individuals.

"It could be in the form of a grant or there are also Small Businesses Association disaster loans that are offered to people as well," said Ron Winward, crew leader for FEMA's Disaster Survivor Assistance.

That FEMA crew will be in Mullica Hill likely into next week to help people.

You can also register for FEMA assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
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