TRENTON — North and central Jersey was awakened by a severe thunderstorm that crossed the state early Saturday morning

The powerful storm crossed into New Jersey just before 4 a.m. moving west to east with loud thunder, intense lightning, 55 mph winds and quarter-size hail in an area between Route 80 and Route 195.

"When I left my house at 5 a.m. I thought I was back at a 70s disco with all the lights in the sky," 94.3 The Point's Tommy Lynch said of his drive on the Garden State Parkway in Monmouth County.

Nealy 3,000 JCP&L customers and another 3,800 PSE&G customers, mostly in Middlesex and Camden counties,  were plunged into darkness by the storm as of 6:30 a.m., according to their respective power outage maps.

The storm caused all lanes of the northbound New Jersey Turnpike in Carteret to temporarily be closed, according to New Jersey Fast Traffic. There were also several cars reported off the road in East Brunswick and Woodbridge and flooding reported through North Plainfield and Bridgewater on Route 22.

Saturday will still be a warm day with partly to mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 80s for all of New Jersey, even along the shore, according to chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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