Large and destructive storms rolled through Southern New Jersey Friday night and early Saturday morning, primarily south of the Black Horse Pike (NJ Route 322). These storms toppled trees and smashed cars and houses, cutting power and telephone service to hundreds of thousands of SNJ residents. At least three SNJ residents lost their lives in this violent storm. As some local residents say, this storm was more violent and of a longer duration than our “normal” summer thunder storm. It was more reminiscent of the huge storms experienced within the Continent and unlike our brief episodes of random thunder heads.
Many swamps and surrounding upland forests took a beating, as many ancient specimens were toppled. I am sure this will be a storm that will have lasting effects on our plants and their ecosystems. Open canopies will now invite sun loving species where once only darkness reigned. Expect to see changes in the Maurice, Cohansey and Salem Rivers forests. Marking this storm with this blog notation will provide some historical context when field botanists start finding new or once missing species in the wake of this atmospheric monster.