Tornado Rips a 7-Mile Path Through Jersey

The tornado had a maximum wind speed of 120 mph

It's official: A tornado 100 yards wide tore through Sussex County, N.J. yesterday, uprooting trees and destroying two silos in the rural community, the National Weather Service has confirmed.

Residents captured photos, such as the one above, as the tornado moved through Wantage around 3 p.m. yesterday.  It was the first confirmed tornado in Sussex County in nine years and the strongest to hit the area since 1950.

The tornado sustained maximum winds of 120 miles per hour and tore a path 7 miles long.  It lasted for about 12 minutes, the National Weather Service said.

At first, weather experts could not confirm that the funnel cloud was in fact a tornado, though reports of damage -- including scores of downed treed and at least two partially collapsed barns, indicated that the funnel cloud had indeed touched ground.

A string of severe thunderstorms again slammed the tri-state area yesterday with heavy rains flooding roads and downing trees and power lines.

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