Heavy storms are expected to roll through Monmouth County for the rest of the afternoon, and already residents in Howell are experiencing power outages.
According to JCP&L's outage map, as of 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday, nearly 2,500 customers in Howell were without power.
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for the entire state, including Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The watch is in effect until 7 p.m. tonight.
The NWS predicts the showers could develop into thunderstorms after 2 p.m., which could bring "gusty winds and heavy rain." With temperatures in the 80s and wind getting as high as 26 MPH, it should make for an interesting day on the roads.
What to do in case of an outage:
- Check your circuit breaker box to be sure the problem isn’t just with your home. If not, report the outage to Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) at 1-888-544-4877 or by visiting its online outage report system. You can also follow outage reports in the area through JCP&L's interactive map.
- Turn on one light switch so you’ll know when power is restored, but unplug all electrical equipment, including TVs, computers and motor-driven appliances to prevent an overload when the power turns back on.
- Never go near fallen power lines. Report the outage and call 911 to report the downed lines.
- Keep a flashlight and charged batteries on hand and in an easily accessible location. Better yet, stock each bedroom with a flashlight. You should always be able to find at least one flashlight while your house is completely in the dark.
- Keep your freezer and refrigerator doors closed to preserve the cool air. Food can last several hours in a power outage if it’s kept cool. Put a blanket over your refrigerator to add insulation to it. After the power is back on, if you’re in doubt, throw it out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has handy tips about how long food will last in outages.
- Charge your phones, laptops and other devices if you know bad weather is coming, just in case an outage hits.