After thunderstorms brought power outages early Monday morning, high wind gusts continued in the afternoon, causing some damage in Atlantic County.
During a wind advisory that was in effect from noon to 10 p.m. Monday, employees at the PetSmart in Mays Landing reported a lamp post fell in the parking lot and hit the building.
According to the store’s manager, an employee first noticed the downed pole while on a break about 1 p.m. The pole leaned away from a rusted base and it’s top lights chipped into the concrete storefront, lodging it diagonally.
Multiple employees said they had not heard any loud noises, and said the pole had not fallen when they came to work at 6:30 a.m.
West-northwest winds at the time were reported at 35-45 mph.
Hamilton Township police arrived at 1:30 p.m. and taped off the area as they waited for more assistance to remove the pole.
The White Horse Pike eastbound was closed from Shore Road about 2:30 p.m. due to a downed telephone pole in the roadway, according to Absecon police.
The highest winds during the early morning thunderstorms were reported at 80 mph in Salem County. Atlantic County experienced about 40 mph winds during the storms.
Along with high winds, thousands of homes in Atlantic City experienced power outages starting shortly before 5 a.m.
The outages started after lightning struck a utility pole outside the substation on North Michigan Avenue, according to Atlantic City Electric spokesman Frank Tedesco. This affected two distribution lines, one that led to the uptown neighborhood and the other to the inlet area.
About 30 percent of Atlantic City Electric customers in the city were without power, more than 4,800 customers. The outages were concentrated in neighborhoods on the northern end of the city, including Bungalow Park, Gardner’s Basin and the South Inlet.
Power was restored to a majority of customers by 9 a.m.