Strong winds take heavy toll on New Jersey town

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RARITAN, NJ— The powerful winds struck Raritan, New Jersey with such vengeance Saturday night into Sunday, that some residents like Greg Filep thought it was a tornado.

“From what we gather, it was almost like a straight line.  It started down at that school, and it came like a half a mile wide going across.  If you were to follow this all the way down, you’d see a lot of shingles off a lot of roofs,” said Filep.

His 12-year-old son Luke said he had a very  scary and sleepless night.

“Hearing some of the things break and stuff, it was just terrifying,” Luke Filep said.

The family’s fence was torn apart, two of their grills went flying, and their snow blower, easily 150 pounds, travelled about 20 feet, before crashing into their new above ground swimming pool.

At the Railroad Avenue home next door, a  window, frame included, blew out, along with a television set.

Chris Conklin who lives in Bridgewater, owns a home in Raritan where her parents live.  Considering the spot where a huge tree uprooted, Conklin feels very lucky.

“My parents would normally have a car parked right here.  They are actually visiting family in New York, so we got lucky.  (The tree) just missed the house, just missed the garage,” Conklin said.