Wenonah Tornado Project

Questionnaire Results

Current submitted survey count 86

Results for the September 1, 2021 tornado Questionnaire Note: This questionnaire is an attempt to gather information about the September tornado from the residents of Wenonah, NJ. The information gathered will be use by the Wenonah Historical Society as part of its efforts to document the impact of the tornado for future generations.


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Were you at home on September 1, 2021, when the tornado passed through Wenonah?

Not a resident

Did you receive any advance warnings or emergency alerts prior to the tornado?


What warnings did you receive?

NWS radio
Social media
Word of mouth

Other source of warnings

  • Nixle
  • Weather App
  • Weather Channel alert
  • None

Did you feel you had adequate advance notice of the tornado?


Did you take shelter?


Where did you shelter?

  • Basement of our house. (1)
  • Basement, but only after power was already out and storm was really bad. (1)
  • Basement. (27)
  • Basement/crawl. (1)
  • Center of home on first floor. not a particular room made it to the basement door but never made it to the basement!. (1)
  • In an interior room. (1)
  • In center house bathroom. (1)
  • In my basement. (1)
  • In my guest room. it happened too fast for me to get to my basement or to a neighbor. (1)
  • In our basement under a folding table. (1)
  • In our basement. (4)
  • In our home. (1)
  • In the basement, under the stairs. (1)
  • In the center of the basement. (1)
  • In the hallway. (1)
  • In the lowest part of my home, the basement. windows were small rectangular in size on the far side of the wall. (1)
  • I’m our basement. (1)
  • My basement. (1)
  • Our family was away on vacation but saw the warning on national tv and called our mother who was home at the time. (1)
  • Under basement stairwell. (1)
  • We took the dog, the two cats, and two beers into the basement. (1)
  • We were on the road and we continued home because there was no safe place to pull over. (1)
  • Windowless section of the basement. (1)

Were you in a room with exterior walls?


Were you in a room with windows?


Were you trapped and rescued by others?


Did you or anyone in your household receive any injuries as a result of the tornado?


Did you or anyone in your household require medical care?


Please write below a summary of your experiences.

I had received alerts on my phone, but was in the middle of a business meeting using Zoom in my home office. Once I finished that call, I went downstairs where my husband and daughter were hanging out in the kitchen. I had been hearing the wind hitting against the house pretty strong, but as my husband was putting a pizza into the oven for dinner, I decided to look out our front door window and I saw the trees moving erratically and the type of wind I would see when I was growing up back in Missouri. (SW Missouri gets a lot of tornadoes.) I immediately turned back to my family and told my daughter to get in the basement. My husband later told me I seemed almost robotic and told them, "This is it. We need to go downstairs now." Of course, my husband, a NJ native, was more concerned about the pizza he had just put in the oven. He said he's stay with the pizza and I told him he'd feel pretty stupid if he died over a pizza. For a second I was worried about the glass shattering because the air pressure felt weird, we could hear things banging around outside, and then the loudness seemed to pass. After a while I heard crying outside and I was afraid that our next door neighbor's dog had escaped or something worse had happened. But when we emerged from our house, we saw trees down everywhere, including one that had smashed our neighbor's car. Our Japanese Maple had been uprooted and was laying toward our neighbor's house, but had fallen in exactly the one direction it could to avoid damaging anything. Oddly, while we found large pieces of all kinds of materials all over our house and yard, including limbs that had been driven into the ground like nails, our hanging baskets were all still hanging perfectly in place. We were without power for 4 or 5 days. We were one of the last groups of houses to get it back. The weeks after the tornado were full of cleanup and helping deliver meals and materials when and where we could. I was proud to be part of a town that rallied so much to support its residents.
It was a frightening experience that none of us encountered in our lifetime especially having my 95 yr old mother with us as we sheltered in place. The sound of the horrendous wind was like a freight train and the entire storm passed in seconds after it took down many trees in our backyard and blew in a back enclosed porch window with debris! Jack witnessed the black wall of the storm as he ran into the sheltered interior bathroom. As soon as the electric went out, we knew the tornado caused much damage. It was erily quit in the after math of the storm. We were quite surprised at the extent of damage. The first thing we noticed was the driveway was blocked by down trees as was the whole street. My thoughts were how would emergency vehicle get to those that may need rescuing.
It’s hard to explain because when it was over it was shocking when I open my front door to see trees down and people screaming and the roof from across the street in my front yard it just didn’t seem like it was real I felt like I was in a movie I think I was in shock for a little bit in fact I’m pretty sure I was and then the rain came and all the water damage throughout my house and just trying to get out my back door with a two-year-old it almost brings me to tears still thinking about it because the trees in my backyard were all down and I couldn’t get out the back door easily and then you couldn’t get anywhere by car so trying to navigate the street withA two-year-old in a stroller because I had to get to someplace where there was power and that I felt safe there were firetrucks and rain and wind it’s something I’ll never forget it almost makes me wanna cry even discussing it but the days after the tornado with some of the most amazing days with this community all pulling together to help each other in one way or another that’s what made it beautiful and how we all helped each other and continue to help each other
We were on our back porch without a phone. We came in when it began to blow up. It was only then that I received a text from a friend alerting me that a tornado was on track to hit Wenonah. We took shelter in the basement. We were within ten minutes of the tornado hitting at that point. I could hear our landline ringing as the county notification alert was issued and other friends were calling to alert us. After about five minutes or so, we heard the house rattling as the storm approached but within a minute or so we heard it! The tornado made an unforgettable whirling sound as it passed over the house. (Later, a neighbor told us that on his way to the basement, he looked out a window and saw the wall (?) of the tornado, meaning the whirling winds, directly over our house.) It passed as quickly as it arrived. When we came upstairs everything appeared normal. Nothing in the house was disturbed even though the Windows were opened. Ron went to the back door to discovered our exit from the back porch was completely blocked by fallen trees. I discovered the same thing on the front porch where our front tree had crashed through our wooden fence and landed on the porch. The only exit was through a slider on the side deck. Once outside on the deck, I could not believe the damage that had occurred in just a few seconds. Four trees had been snapped and fallen thus breaking wooden fencing, a lamppost, patio furniture and wooden garden structures. Most of the trees were leaning against our outbuildings, but luckily no major damage to those structures occurred. The entire yard was inaccessible and Ron had to climb over debris to get to our generator when we lost power. The next day, he cut a path so we could use the front door. When I first saw the damage from the deck, I began to have chest pains. It was overwhelming to see what the tornado had undone as we had just finished the final seasonal work on our somewhat formal garden, a hobby of ours for many years. We were lucky however, that no major damage was done to our home or outbuildings and that our insurance company covered everything. Because the trees were leaning against our home and buildings, all of the tree removal costs, which were expensive, were covered. (We had estimates of up to $12,000. for the tree and brush removal.) We have lived in Wenonah since 1976 and during that time we have had two earthquakes and now one tornado, while living here. Totally unexpected.
I hadn't moved in yet. My builder contacted me the next day about the tornado.
We took shelter upon warnings, waited out the tornado, and left shelter to survey damage after the tornado passed.
Nothing happened here. Pillows were still in outdoor furniture and Even our wind chimes were still hanging. Missed us.
Heavy winds and observed objects tossed about by heavy winds. Loss of power
Two long time residents were having dinner at my house. We were talking, pretty much unaware of what the weather was doing outside, though we knew it was windy and raining. I offered to drive both home (one to N. Lincoln, the other to Mantua). There were fire engines outside my house because a tree and a transformer had fallen but I didn't think much of it. With my friends in the car, it became apparent a horrendous event had hit our town. Every street between S. Marion and N. Lincoln was blocked by trees, fire engines, fallen wires, etc. It was horrifying. None of us were hurt and our properties survived intact (except for some fallen branches) but we will never forget the trauma of that evening.
We had a lot of structure damage to our home. Trees were through all of our windows, and our roof. Trees took out all of our fencing. We had so much water damage throughout the house due to this storm.
This is the first time we have taken a warning seriously when we heard on the news it was coming in this direction. We took shelter in the basement. Then my husband received a text that the town had taken serious damage. He and my son left to go to the Firehouse.
Received phone alert about 530 pm of tornado in PA. Turned on Ch 6 which was following PA event. Then they started reporting poss tornado in NJ. I had about 25 minutes to prepare. Pets and I moved to basement. After storm passed, went outside to stand in shock with neighbors. Everyone checking on everyone. As I left basement, my brother called from MI to check on me. He had seen weather on news but didn't realize we actually had tornado. : - )
Saw the alert on my phone and looked out our large plated glass front door, and observed a swirling mass of dark air with lots of black objects (the size of birds) contained in the air, coming up N. Monroe Avenue, over the roof of the house across the street from us, on W. Buttonwood. Managed to get my husband and cats into the basement in seconds. When I went down the stairs to the main basement room, which is finished with an exterior door and windows, I thought one of them had blown open because there was so much fresh air blowing throughout the space. None had; it was wind coming in from the walls and normal cracks in the structure. We then went through an interior door to a interior room and just waited it out. The cats wanted dinner.
We were home with our three children (13 y/o, 3y/0 and 1 y/o). We were communicating with family, and watching the news, so we knew a storm was coming; however, we did not take shelter until the alarms went off on our phones. We then went right to the basement. I remember running upstairs to get a flashlight because our lights were flickering. At that time, I heard a loud crash and ran downstairs with my family. We huddled together by the couch and waited for the tornado to pass. I remember it sounded like a train went through our home and I thought the bilco doors were going to be ripped off our basement. When it ended my husband went upstairs because he needed to go check on his mother who lived down the street. He immidately called me to say that the roof over our children's rooms was gone. We waited a long time for my dad, our dear friend who is a deptford police woman and my cousins who came to help us gather our stuff and drive out of Wenonah. The days following were full of cleaning up and gathering our emotions. I am so thankful for our amazing neighbors, family and friends who continue to help us pick up the pieces. It has been a long road for us and we are still on it, as we are waiting for all the repairs to be completed to our house. While we are so thankful that we have a place to stay in Wenonah (currently at my mother-in-laws, down the street), we are very much ready to return to our home.
I was at home alone (my wife was with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren near Haddonfield) at the time, and was eating. At approximately 6:30 PM EDT, there was a very sharp, sudden increase in wind speed, and the lights flickered several times before going out altogether. By this time the wind was blowing harder than I had seen in more than fifty years. Wind blowing from east to west demolished the privacy wall on our deck and blew deck furniture into the front yard. It also removed about 60% of our roof, leaving much of the attic open to the sky. Further, two windows were broken by windborne debris. I would estimate the total time from start to finish was approximately two to two and a half minutes. At no time did I see a classic funnel cloud, which corresponds with after-the-fact reports that the funnel did not touch the ground when coming through Wenonah. The only other time I can recall winds anywhere close to the strength of this F3 tornado were winds associated with hurricane Hazel in 1954. That hurricane passed through the Baltimore area, where I grew up, and I have some memories, even though I was just a toddler, of very high winds and trees near our house in violent motion. Having witnessed both a hurricane and a tornado first-hand, I'm not in any hurry to repeat either experience.
Headed to the basement around 6pm via Action News Channel 6 recommendations. Stayed near the interior wall of basement with my family,
I received numerous warnings from the weather app on my phone and waiting by the basement door until outside got still and I knew it was coming. I ran in the basement with my dog and he was so scared he peed on me. We came out a minute later and called 911 and checked on neighbors
I was home with my 2 children and 3 dogs. I grew up in Ohio and had experienced tornadoes before so I knew how to be prepared and had set up a folding table in the center of the basement with blankets, water, and flashlights. I could tell based on the sky and sound of the wind that it was getting close, so I got my kids and dogs down to the basement. I had my kids sit under the table and I crouched over them. When the tornado hit our neighborhood, you could hear it and then I saw our big pine tree crash into our neighbors living room window. Once it passed (within seconds) I left my kids downstairs and went up to check the surroundings. Most houses by me seemed to be standing but every tree was down and you could barely see your neighbor's house across the street due to the trees. Everyone came out on their front porch and I called out to each of my neighbors to make sure they were okay and if they needed help. I brought food to one of my neighbors who hadn't eaten. My kids, dogs, and I just stayed in the house that night once we confirmed no one around us needed immediate help. My wife is a volunteer firefighter for Wenonah and she was in Philly when it happened. I called her and told her not to come home because she wouldn't be able to get to us and it was dark and too dangerous. She found a way to get to us anyway and once she confirmed we were okay, she went out to help the fire company with rescue efforts. We barely saw her the rest of the week as she assisted the town and did safety checks. I helped neighbors clear brush/downed trees/ and debris and then walked around town checking on others within our NE quadrant of town to see if they needed anything.
We heard the 'train whistle' and then I had a strange feeling in my chest like a pressure change. Looking out the basement window it felt like we were inside a washing machine with all the debris swirling around outside. Then it was over. We went upstairs, went to the back door, and saw a large branch blocking the walkway. There was debris all over the house, the fence was broken in two spots, and a cherry tree was uprooted from the back yard. But 20 feet from that tree, there were chimes on a hook that were untouched. On the front porch there was insulation pieces and bits of leaves all over, and my table and house plants were now all over the yard. Larry is on Shade Tree Commission and I'm on Council so we quickly got on rain coats, grabbed our phones, and headed out to check on neighbors. Then people from all over started to text to see if we had any damage.
I just walked in the door from work when I got the text alert that we were under a tornado warning. I used to work for FEMA Corps so I knew to take this seriously. My husband Bryan (then fiance) just finished cooking dinner. I changed out of my work clothes and we grabbed dinner plates and headed to the basement, with our dog Lagertha. He brought his ipad downstairs so we could watch the Actions News coverage. As we ate dinner and watched the coverage. I was snapchatting my sisters and cousins, saying how I couldn't believe we are under a tornado warning in New Jersey. Bryan had his drink on the basement steps that go up to the backdoor and our kitchen. I said to him that we should probably move to more of the middle of the basement to be further from the windows. Right at that moment the power starting seizing, and there was this incredible bubble like pressure. I was frozen in my seat, thinking to myself, here it is, we have to get through this moment. A great impact hit the back of the house from our trees falling, blowing the backdoor off and catching in the basement stairwell sideways. Tree debries came flying down the stairs. Bryan said we have to move away from the path of the backstairs, but I was frozen, so he pushed Lagertha and I to the side of the basement near our washer and dryer. We heard glass breaking upstairs and water pouring into the kitchen. As fast as it came, it went just as quick, and it was a deafening silence and calm. We looked at each other, seeing that we had cider and pine tree flakes on us but otherwise had no impalements. My ear hurt, and I found out the next day that I had a perforated eardrum from the tornado's pressure. We waited in the spot another fifteen or twenty minutes, until we knew the tornado warning was cleared. Bryan had to push the backdoor so we could get by and assess damage, as the water continued to come in to the kitchen. to be continued...
Had some damage to our front porch, wife’s car got really messed up. Lost power longer than most because the power company did not realize the pole supplying electricity to my house was knocked down. I was out 2 days longer than everyone around me
Went to basement with wife and baby, heard sound like a hundred freight trains, then heard things hitting the house. About thirty seconds later, the sound diminished, and we were able to survey the damage done.
This was a terrifying experience. My husband and I and our two daughters were at home. We decided to take the girls to “play” in the basement. We were down there for 10 minutes when the lights began to flicker. I SCREAMED for the girls to sit on my lap! I tried to cover them with as much as my body as I could while my husband stood over me. I could see (we have tiny windows in the basement) the back yard ground. Suddenly the air was taken away and we heard what we thought was a train …. It wasn’t. My oldest daughter began to scream at the top of her lungs as we saw what looked like smoke swirling around. I didn’t even hear the tornado bc my kids were screaming so loud. It flew by in the blink of an eye. When all was said and done Ans we came upstairs it was like when Dorthy stepped out into oz…. It looked like a different world. Thank god the damage wasn’t too extensive and we were safe! The injuries that were sustained were physical, but my daughter suffers from PTSD from it.
I’d like to give my entire account at some point. Both sets of grandparents live directly under the path. It was a chaotic night to say the least.
I was at work, but my husband and children were home. I called and told them to get into the basement, about 45 seconds later my daughter texted me and said “all of the windows were breaking” I tried to rush home, but within 2 minutes my husband called and told me they were safe, but our house had been badly damaged. I wasn’t able to get to them for a while, the tress, wires, gas leak, all had them stuck for a bit. Almost 9 months later, and we’re still displaced.
I had arrived home from doctor appointment and saw a tornado warning on the television. Because of balaut felt a forcence issues, I do not go on the stairs to the basement. The only place without windows is the hallway. I stood there. I never heard the "train noise," but felt a force - that's the only word I can use to describe it. In a few minutes the windows blew inward, along with debris. It blew out the door and all the way to the kitchen door. The whole thing only lasted seconds. I went out on my front porch and talked to my neighbor. I had no electricity. There was tree limbs and branches piled on the south side of my house from the ground to the roof. My neighbor called my daughter in West Deptford who decided to come get me. She had a difficult time getting to my house. Trees were down all over. My daughter finally made her way on foot to my house. We started to walk toward her husband who was driving his truck several blocks away. We passed a fire truck from Franklinville. We made it to her husband and I went home with them. The next day I came back and surveyed the damage. I lost all landscaping on the south side of the house. Trees, limbs, and branches were piled high in the side and back yards. The fence was mangled in many places. A big piece of the top of the huge evergreen tree in my front yard wound up in the front yard. There was damage to the roof, several windows, and shingles. The outside a/c was smooshed. The front porch had some missing posts. There were some wires down on the driveway.
The children were terrified. We huddled in a basement pantry. You could hear trees crashing down around us. We heard something hit and rattle our house (we later learned it was a greet knocking off our chimney and landing on our porch)..
When the sky began turning dark we began preparing to go down to our crawl. We sought shelter as soon as the wind began. It was only a few minutes before we came out. Our home was damaged on the outside (no structural damage). Every tree was down in our yard and street.
We consider ourselves extremely fortunate. We had no damage.
We got lucky, our house was on the street next to Monroe so our neighbors across the street had significant yard damage and we just had debris, I volunteered all day for 4 days afterwards and helped clean yards, distribute food, sort clothes, etc. The biggest takeaway is how big of a true community Wenonah is, I witnessed so many people come together to check in on each other, clean up, rebuild, and take care of each other and I will never forget how impactful everyone’s willingness to help was.
I was at work when the tornado came through. My wife and kids were home and they took shelter in the basement. When I came home, I couldn't get to my house via car because of all the downed trees. I had to park on the edge of town and make my way in on foot. I had to climb under and over down trees and do my best to avoid downed electrical wires. I made it home and checked on my family to make sure everything was okay there. As a member of the Wenonah Volunteer Fire Co, I headed straight to the fire company (on foot) once I made sure my family was okay. We worked more or less around the clock for the next week throughout town, clearing trees, checking on residents, and taking damage reports throughout town to submit to FEMA. I've never experienced anything like this before. I was personally overwhelmed with how incredible the response from the county and our neighboring fire companies was. Many volunteers from companies nearby took shifts manning the fire house so our volunteers could try to sneak in some rest here and there and tend to their own properties a bit. From an emergency response viewpoint, even though we were largely unprepared for this event, the response was coordinated and effective in the weeks following the event. The efforts from folks in town to help one another was also incredibly heartwarming. This was a horrible tragedy, but there were bright spots to be found in the weeks that followed.
Knowing about the system that was coming and the chance of tornado I kept the local news on. When I saw that there was a high possibility and the timing of it getting close my children and dog took shelter in the basement. As the tornado came through you could hear things happening outside and thuds on the gound. After time had past and it seemed safe we ventured out to see trees and debris everywhere.
My husband and I live on the West side of town, next to the conservation area that was so gravely affected by the 2016 straight line winds and then by the tornado. Neither of which we would ever have anticipated. I have a small studio on my property next to the woods. It’s where I teach Yoga. On that evening my two students and I were debating whether to cancel class, as our road is still dirt and it gets flooded with hard rain. One of the students was returning from Philly and heard there was a chance of tornados, which we sort of dismissed, but cancelled anyway. Within minutes of the conversation, while walking towards my house, my phone gave the alarm to find shelter. I wasn’t really familiar with that alarm so while studying my phone my son called to insure it was real. My husband was luckily working in the basement and we quickly huddled in the old coal room where within seconds the storm landed outside . In reflection, what was actually a brief event seemed endless. We literally watched from the small window was 100 ft. tree’s airlifted and dumped like matchsticks. The sound was muffled as debris was thrown against the house. I imagine that was the force of the wind. Then a short silent interlude. Then it began again. On the second sweep our windows upstairs popped from the air pressure. That was frightening. From there it went silent. After a moment we were able steady. We could hear the rain but nothing else. We waited to come upstairs as we weren’t sure about the house structure or if it was safe. It was dark of course without electric. We heard our neighbor Jim calling from the street to see if we were ok. That’s when we got our first look at the damage. As we tried to open the doors , both front and back, we were blocked by huge downed trees. People were coming onto the property to get us out. In retrospect it was pretty dangerous to crawl through the trees but I wanted to check next door as my neighbors were away. Within the next few hours the Fire Dept. had set up outside our intersection to direct people wandering about , providing light and keeping watch on the downed electrical lines . The rains got worse and we trekked to the edge of town where our daughter picked us up to spend the night . The next week was arduous removing what we could but the better point would be the volunteerism that I witnessed. It was amazing. Every group in town arrived to help. The most amazing was the people all the way from Pa. who came to cut trees and stumps and remove glass and board up windows. It was humans at their best and made the ordeal a game changer. We’re still working on repair. It has been tedious and disappointing at times. Particularly with FEMA who sings a good song but my neighbors nor I saw any assistance. Even In the instance where homes were gutted. When your home is comprised like this it is a trauma, which sometimes can be overlooked by others in town who didn’t experience any damage. There are still families almost a year later that haven’t been able to return to their homes. In closing, I hope this helps for future prep as I have the foreboding sense that two huge storms in the last decade may become normal.
We went down to the basement as soon as the watch became a warning and the sky was changing. I ran back upstairs to find and bring down my cat, who is frail and deaf. The storm came in very fast and strong, with a lot of wild wind. There was a sudden sharp and very loud explosive sound - probably the nearby power line transformer. It became still outside in a matter of minutes. Dean went upstairs first and as I came up the steps he said "the sunroom is gone." A huge oak had fallen across the back of the house, ripping off the back half of the sunroom and demolishing most of the deck. The French doors into the sunroom were jammed shut, having been blown inward by the pressure and then sucked back out. The dining room was full of glass from the windows and debris from outside. The power had been knocked out; it was dark and raining. I went across the street to the neighbors who had a generator running, and then to the neighbor two doors down who lives alone. She was okay; a tree had fallen across a corner of her house but she didn't have water coming in. I took her cellphone to the back to the first house to charge. There was no cell service in town, though. I don't remember when or where we slept. In the morning we saw everything the storm had done: all but two small trees on our property were gone, either uprooted or twisted and broken. All of the old trees in the woods and wetlands behind us were twisted "stalks" with broken branches and no leaves, or simply bare jagged trunks with other broken trees or huge branches hanging across them. The loss of the woods out back and the loss of wildlife habitat hit me harder than the damage to our home. I knew it would not ever look the same out there - not in my lifetime, not for 100 years or more. We were safe inside, and had no water damage. Our generator kept the refrigerator, stove, and two lamps on until the power came back. It may have been a week, I don't remember. The streets in our southwest quadrant from West Cedar up to Mantua Blvd, from the railroad tracks back to the woods, were impassible. The woods were impenetrable. Other parts of town were also hit hard, and some areas were untouched, but it wasn't possible to know this for several days. Those of us most affected were carrying branches out to the street; talking with tree removal companies and roofers; searching for, salvaging or discarding belongings, picking up innumerable pieces of broken plexiglass that the storm had carried across the marsh from the DelVal Florists greenhouses; and coming to terms with what had happened.
We work nights so were not home. We received texts that there was bad storms and possible tornadoes but didn’t realize the damage until we came home. Had difficulty getting to our house by car. Took some time and eventually made it home. We lost 6 trees, a lot of siding, our garage shifted off it’s foundation and our roof needed to be replaced. Not fun!
We live on the edge of town, so we didn’t experience any damage. Everyone in our family of 6 received text message warnings about the coming storm, but we get them frequently enough about flooding, thunderstorms, etc, that we didn’t take it seriously until we saw the wind whipping the trees around behind our house. We all scrambled for the basement stairs and stayed down there until it passed. The way the town came together that weekend to help those impacted was nothing short of amazing.
We arrived home from vacation on Saturday after the tornado. Very impressed with how the town pulled together and checked in at the library for supplies and to volunteer their time to help others in need. Want to give a high shout out to councilman Dan Cox for going above and beyond the call of duty.
I had multiple trees down on my property along with significant damage roof to my home, garage, and shed. My fence was smashed and my driveway was damaged by an uprooted tree
lost 4 trees on my property
As I left work around 3:30PM my coworker warned me of an incoming storm. I arrived home around 4:30PM. I had received additional text messages from family to watch the weather. I turned on the news and monitored the storm. Just in case, I found the cats and put them in a carrier in the basement. Something in my gut said to take this seriously. If I recall correctly around 6/6:30 the sky went suddenly dark and green. I told my wife to get in the basement and I carried my 120lb dog(kicking and screaming I might add) into the basement. Not 10 seconds after I got in the basement we felt the pressure drop and heard glass shattering. It lasted for maybe 30 seconds. Once everything was calm we emerged from the basement to survey the damage. Unfortunately, I stepped on a large and rusty screw that went straight through my shoe. My wife had to remove it with pliers. There was no going to a medical facility as we were completely blocked in by fallen trees and downed power lines. Once things were clear a few days later I received a script for antibiotics to make sure it didn't become infected. It took several days of constant work to clear all the debris and downed trees/power poles. I believe our house was directly under the path of the tornado. We suffered damage to the roof, siding, windows, lost our side porch and fences, and had severe damage to the front porch. We also lost several mature trees and had other property damage to things like air conditioners and a grill. It is now June and we are still completing repairs directly related to the storm.
We heard it over house. However, prior to being over the house the electricity abruptly shut off. When we came up from the basement, we saw that we lost six trees. One fell on our car, one fell on deck, and our neighbors' trees fell on our 3-day-old fence destroying sections of fence. We were out of electricity for 5 days and we had no cable or internet for 10 days. We are lucky our neighbors pulled together to help each other. Also Wenonah Community was quite supportive.
I received at least 3 tornado warnings on my phone. I was home alone, when I heard the sound of a train I ran down to my basement and called my mother in law. My fiance was out getting a haircut. I talked to her for 5 minutes when I heard it hit I could see up my stairs and out my kitchen door things flying by then loud crashes to my house. The power went out. I started freaking out on the phone with my mil. She calmed me down. I waited about 5 minutes, came up the steps and looked outside my front door facing Cedar. It was apocalyptic. My car had been crushed by a large tree by the trail, a street tree was resting on my kitchen roof, and another street tree narrowly missed my living room. The top of my gigantic sycamore had fallen off, missing my house. I couldn't go out my side kitchen door because the street tree blocked the exit and had torn down the awning. I waited for my fiance who couldn't even drive to our house. We met countless neighbors in the street that day.
I was in Woodstown working and did not understand what had happened until I tried to get home. Wenonah volunteers did a wonderful job making sure those of us that were not home were able to get back into the boro! Unfortunately I rent. Although I live in the first floor unit - the two above me have been vaccinated. Third floor that evening second floor later. They are both still empty and not habitual. I was amazed at the strong support of mount trucks and tree removal and electric lines so we could get around!!! I understand other first responders also helped with the traffic direction and flow. Unfortunately my landlord is something- But fortunately as conditions seemed to get better then worse matters are getting somewhat better; not sure which agency lead the latest issues but it did start with the boro- Wenonah is a wonderful place to live and raise a family I am amazed everyday at those homeowners that have decided to rebuild there historical homes back to what they were!! Thank you again to the shade tree commission the park is looking amazing!!! I will end with something one of my children said is that wenonah is like it’s own HOA - as someone that’s has lived in and outside of wenonah over the past 40 years it is my home and I am thankful for it and all that contribute their time and energy to keep it safe for all- including the trees and wildlife.
I was at Inspira Hospital (emergency room) with my husband most of the day. We saw the warnings on television but because of our location in the hospital we could not see or hear any of the tornado. A neighbor sent us a photo of the front of our house and the damage done to our property and car. I then left hospital to come home, only to find out that I could not get into Wenonah let alone my home. It took me 2 hours to finally get to a friend’s house in Mantua, where I spent 2 nights. The day after the tornado I tried to enter our home, but couldn’t access front door because a huge long branch was blocking step and door. I could not use our driveway to get to backyard because trees had fallen and it was blocked. I then tried to access my backyard from our neighbor, only to find our deck steps had been crushed by fallen trees. When I returned later that morning, a neighbor on S. Lincoln along with his friends had cut the tree blocking our front door. I could finally get inside to make sure our home had no internal damage or animals living in there. We’re still trying to to get repairs done. It’s been a long process.
It got dark; visibility was limited. The wind howled and trees bowed. Branches were flying and trees were falling over. I t was fascinating and frightening at the same time.
We were out to dinner and sent text messages from our friends that Wenonah was hit by the tornado. We rushed home but couldn’t get to our house because of downed trees. We parked and walked to our house and my husband started helping our neighbors chainsaw the trees that were blocking our driveway, their homes. We didn’t have power for over a week and no cable or internet for almost two weeks. Luckily we have a generator and set it up in our driveway so that our neighbor could also use the generator. We fared better than most. We had some roof damage but nothing compared to others on our street. I’ve never seen anything like it and never imagined something like that happening in South Jersey.
The tornado moved through very quickly. There was little time to react. We sheltered in the basement and it was over in a few minutes. We are about 50 yards from where it crossed over Mantua creek and entered Wenonah.
Lost power before tornado hit. That's why we didn't have advance warning. Lost about 8 trees. One was a large pine tree that hit and went into the house. Sustained roof, window, fencing, interior wall, basement blocks, door, Air conditioning system, pergola and outdoor furniture damage.
The first alert came, and my daughter and I went into the basement. When that expired, another alert came through. We went into an interior room, but I ended up watching the tornado strike my home out my back window. My yard furniture and gazebo went flying upward, and the noise was like an electrified hum. My house and detached garage were damaged and trees were strewn about, but we were uninjured and my house was still standing. The ensuing days were filled with helpers and gratitude; however, my home is still not repaired due to difficulty getting a hold of my contractor. I am hopeful it will be done in the coming months.
Two Wenonah friends and I were having dinner. We noticed high winds but didn't realize anything was wrong until fire engines were on the street. A tree and transformer had fallen down blocking S. Marion Avenue two houses away. It wasn't until attempting to drive my friends home that we realized the full impact of the storm: every street was blocked and it looked like a scene from the apocalypse. Everywhere.
I went into the basement after the 2nd or 3rd alert. My husband & son were on the porch and eventually came inside when the tornado was a block away. They heard the trees hitting the ground. I heard alot of noise and what sounded like glass shattering. When it ended, I came up fearing to see the window glass on the floor but there was no broken glass. The thing that stands in my mind is that I was fearful and anxious as to what I was going to see - which were power lines ripped down by large trees and debris all over. Slowly but surely the neighbors were coming out and thankfully, there were no injuries or deaths!
Wanted to know if the municipal is going to replace the covers (water and sewer)
We were out of town. Neighbors tended to pets while we were away.
watching weather on channel 3. Got forecast for tornado warning and tract. Saw sky change and rain stop out window. Went out on porch and heard train coming but knew it wasn't a train. Quickly went to basement. Twister gone by the time I got to the bottom step.
Our story is more unusual than most. Last year, Barbara and I had headed out on Labor Day weekend for a college football weekend at the University of Missouri. We flew out of PHL on Wed. afternoon, Sept. 1st around 2:30PM, and experienced a modest amount of turbulence early in the flight as we flew to Atlanta (eventual destination was Kansas City)....the storm was apparently coming! We changed planes in Atl., and as we got into Kansas City, we got a slew of text messages asking if we were OK (many prompted by local TV new reports), and asking what was going on! We called our son (who lives in Wash. Twp.), and he was panicked that we might have damage. We then called our next door neighbor, Pat Ream, who assured us that our home was undamaged, power was on, and no significant storm debris was in the yard. We were very glad that we did not have to turn around and return home the next day to confront a disaster. Oddly, we ended up talking to Dawn Carson via Skype (unintentionally running into her sister at the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame in Kauffman Stadium), and she gave us a brief description of the mayhem. Several folks called us and texted us photos over the next few days, and we returned Sunday night, 9/5......Even driving around in the dark, it was a wild scene, and that was after 4 days of clean-up had been performed. Fortunately, our property was untouched except for two large branches in the yard. We are very thankful that no one in Wenonah (to our knowledge) was seriously injured.
I had Action News on and Cecily Tynan had just confirmed that a tornado touched down in Woodstown and was heading Northeast at 40 mph, so I looked at the map and saw that Wenonah sits directly northeast of Woodstown. No more than 5-10 minutes later the power went out so I gathered candles, flashlights and headed to the basement. A few more minutes passed and l watched out a small west facing window as the wind picked up and became very violent. I kept my eyes on a tall Pine in the neighbors yard, and although it didn’t fall, another tree in their yard split in half. My Cryptomeria trees which are close to 50’ tall blocked my view of the tornado, even though they bent in half.
I live alone. About 45 minutes before the Tornado passed through, I began to get warnings from TV news I made myself a small dinner -thinking we might be without electricity. Right around 6pm I heard warnings of the Tornado originating in Salem Co and its expected track through Mullica Hill, Mantua and Deptford. I took myself and my dinner to the basement! I heard it...and some things falling in the house because I had all windows OPEN - but front door closed. When it was over, I came up to find only one lamp and picture frame broken in the house, but lots of debris and screen from front door blown into the house when front door was blown open. Outside I had 14 mature trees destroyed on my property, but luckily not one hitting the house. I had siding and a front shutter blown away, a 121 ft newly installed and stained wooden fence destroyed, some screen damage but NO window breakage. Every single house around me got a new roof - except for me and one neighbor on the other side of Marion Ave, whose house, strangely?, is constructed similarly to mine. I was shell shocked seeing the damage and so sad. I just cried in the dark all night until I could get out the next morning and be with my son's family in Deptford.I was heartbroken seeing Wenonah after I returned to begin cleaning up.
Sadly we didn’t take it as serious as we should have or will in the future. My boys were with their dad and I had Just dropped my one son off after football practice. (Their School never cancelled practice either disregarding the alerts). I pulled into my driveway but the force of the winds I couldn’t open my door. My car started shaking and I saw Part of tree coming down and moved my car slightly into the street. The tree missed my car. I closed My eyes - had pressure in my head- heard the Freight train - my puppy was yelping then a few seconds later it was silent. I opened My eyes to all the devastation and a tree that went through the roof of my house to my son’s room and in his bed. Thankfully he wasn’t there!
We were sitting in our sunroom watching channel 6 coverage of the storm. When the meteorologists showed a map of our area and announced that if you lived in this area to seek shelter immediately, we left the sunroom. We were halfway down the basement stairs when we heard and felt a tremendous jolt. This turned out to be the top half of a large pine tree that had been snapped off by the tornado and thrown into our sunroom, where we had been sitting seconds earlier.
The Academy Hill section of Wenonah was not impacted by the tornado.
On September 1, 2021, my husband and I went down the shore. By midafternoon we started home, intending to be home before the predicated bad weather. Much of our experience with weather reporting has been that storms and harsh weather are predicted but rarely happen as they are predicted. We have gotten warnings on our phones but most of the time bad weather never follows. So we went down the shore. We drove through good weather until we reached Glassboro when we got some rain on the Delsea Drive. Suddenly, our phones began to "blow up" with storm warnings, first on my phone followed directly on my husband's phone. Our phones were talking to us in English and in Spanish, so it sounded serious. There was really no safe place to pull over. We reasoned that if we pulled in some place, we would likely have some structure fall on our head, so we continued home. We got to Woodbury-Glassboro road without incident and turned on to Maple Ave and than to our home on Clinton just as rain was beginning to fall. Once inside we noticed that our hounddog was very frightened and shaky, so my husband lay on the floor with him, holding him. The storm came and the wind blew and it rained hard, but it seemed no worse to us than a summer storm. But when Bob got up and looked out the window he began to exclaim. Large sections of trees were down in the street. He walked to the backdoor and pointed out to me that we had another chunk of a tree down on our herb garden and that the wooden side of the garden would need to be prepared. We have a white oak in the yard (round leaves) but the chunk of tree appeared to be a red oak (pointed leaves). We ventured out of the house and so did our neighbors. Everybody was checking on everyone else. When we looked down Clinton Ave to the south we were thunderstruck! Trees were down all over. Maple Street was completely unpassable. We had made it down that street only an hour before. Poles and wires were down, too. That evening, we lit our house with candles and electric lanterns and went to bed early because there wasn't much else we could do. The next day we walked around town checking on our friends and neighbors. We felt kind of lost because most of our landmarks were changed drastically. We had to go up on peoples lawns to pass by in some areas. Folks were out all over town assessing their damage. Most everything was wet and the smell of sap was in the air. Apparently, the storm just missed us but there was some significant damage across the street and down the block to the east of us. Over the next couple of days we watch our townspeople come together and help in anyway they could. We helped, too. It was really something watching all the small equipment and the huge equipment all over Wenonah. It was sad to see some of our very beautiful trees laying on the ground. Finally, roads were passable again, but up near us there was a lot of sunlight where there had been shade tress a few days before. We finally settled down to normal and could get out to the stores and to business again.
I received warnings to shelter but had a hard time getting my dog to go down into the basement, as she has never been allowed to. While struggling with her I remember hearing, or feeling, an unnerving sound in my ears. By the time I pulled her halfway down the tornado had gone by.
I was standing in the kitchen making dinner when the first alert came through on my cell phone. I looked outside and didn't see any immediate signs and went back to cooking. The second alert came through minutes later and I stepped outside to take a better look. Still no evidence of what was coming. By this time, my daughter and wife had already moved in to the basement. Shortly afterward, my daughter saw on her phone that Mullica Hill had been hit. At that point, I went down to the basement with the others. The wind began picking up and I could see through the tiny window in our basement that things were looking more grey and windy. Just then, the air pressure increased and we could feel it build quickly in our ears. We then heard what sounded to be sticks breaking. When things calmed down seconds later, I moved in to the mudroom and approached the back door. I was struck by how bright it was. It has never been bright, since we have 70 foot tall Norway Spruce trees in the backyard. When I opened the door and took two steps up where my eyes were at ground level, I could see the devastation. Our beautiful, wooded backyard was gone. In total, we lost over a dozen tall trees, but little damage to our home. Our property now begins the rebuilding phase. We will never see it look like it did before in our lifetime, but I hope the next owners appreciate the shady beauty that we now begin to build for them.
We were driving home as it happened and entered town just as it came through.
We received warning by 6ABC news….that there was a touch down of a tornado in Harrison and went into the basement after all our phones went off and we lost power. I was able to continue watching the news bc of my phone to know that the tornado was seen in Woodbury and traveling towards us. We knew that the tornado was going by us due to our basement windows. And then a few minutes later our neighbors came to check on us.
9 trees fell on my home puncturing holes in the roof and causing water and some debris in the attic. Some water came through a ceiling fan in a bedroom and damaged a bed. Water accumulated in the attic and caused damaged to the ceiling below it. My central air conditioning unit and wooden privacy fence were also damaged beyond repair. A 10th tree fell across my driveway totaling my mini van and damaging a second car. A total of 6 of us including elderly parents and dogs hunkered down in the basement as we listened to all these trees hit our home. I did not hear what some describe as a train. I heard calmness and than the wind. It seemed like it lasted forever but it was quick. I thought my life was going to end in the moments of hearing the devastation above. After the tornado passed, some of us emerged from the basement to clear the house of danger before the rest followed. I was shocked when I opened up my front door.
We sheltered in the basement. While there, we continued to watch the news on our phone. While in the basement, we heard extremely loud banging on our bilco doors. The electricity went out, so we then had to use flashlights. After we thought it was safe to come upstairs, we saw the devastation. Our backyard just had debris all over it, but our front looked like a war zone. The trees and electic lines were laying across our yard and street. Parts of our roof were off, siding ripped off or bent, screens torn, and a broken window.
The tornado damaged 10-15 white pine and maple trees on the southern edge of my property. Some trees were completely uprooted, while others lost enormous limbs. One set of limbs landed on my car in the driveway and also severed all of the utility wires to my house. A second set destroyed a metal porch awning, blocking off one of the two entrances to the house. A third set landed on the main roof of the house. Although the car was ultimately driveable, its roof structure was damaged and was ruled a total loss by the insurance company. The house roof was pierced by several small white pine branches, resulting in the entire roof and gutter systems being replaced. The electric was only out for 3.5 days, an improvement over the 5-day outage caused by the macroburst incident in June 2015. I certainly counted blessings coming out that experience: 1) nobody in town was seriously injured, 2) some of my trees survived, including the street trees, 3) my home suffered minimal interior damage, and 4) Wenonah neighbors stepped up to help neighbors in a time of great need.
i was about to go out to the rear porch to secure a few items when tornado came through and I hesitated by unopened french doors until it had passed.
I was in my living room and my window blew out and broke my floor lamp. We lost 18 trees. one fell on my garage and damaged the corner. We were totally blocked in. Our street was inpassable. we had to wait for the people with chain saws to clear a path to drive out. our grill was totally destroyed. Guess we were lucky. NJM said I didn't have enough damage to be compensated for damage. We did have to replace the roof. All together it cost us $36,000. So much for insurance.
My shift at Wenonah Public Library ended at 5:30 on September 1, 2021. I left the building around 6:15 with the evening shift on duty. I contacted our staff around 6:30 to say, "Take shelter in the basement, it is too late to leave." The staff person walked to his parent's house around 7:00PM. I have an interesting technology story to share.
When I heard the warning I casually thought I should follow the warning, and headed to the basement thinking it would be 10 min and over. Then came a second and third warning, so I stayed away from the windows and took it more seriously. The sound of a freight train was the exact sound and then I heard a huge thump and broken windows and swishing sounds which I later realized were my neighbors pine tree limbs hitting the side of my house. I was afraid to come up to see the damage.
We were watching TV and the warnings came. We turned on the radio as well. This is not my first tornado. We are from Illinois. So when the TV went out we went down in the basement and sat on the floor under the stairs and next to some file cabinets.I could feel the floor vibrating during the peak of the event. When it got quiet we came upstairs to see the damage.
Our 6 day old son was in the NICU at Inspira hospital that day. We just go home from the hospital and we're (planning on) eating a quick dinner before heading back to him. The tornado went past the hospital. We are thankful that he was safe at Inspira. We packed our bags and found our way out of Wenonah to our friends' house in Clayton. It took 2x longer to get the there because of the road closures and detours. We spent the night there and were able to get to our son in the morning. Our amazing friends surprised us and cleaned up our backyard while we were in the hospital with our son.
Family sheltered in basement under stairwell and I was able to watch from stairwell through kitchen windows. Sound was like a roaring train then a moving dust cloud appeared carrying debris in it. Event lasted no longer than 4 minutes. House was hit by debris - polycarbonate panels from a greenhouse and many branches and yard debris. One 3' diameter tree was toppled in my back yard and minior damage to siding on house. Significant debris fell n the property. Power was lost for @ 6 hours.

Did you lose power in the aftermath of the tornado?


How long were you without power?

  • 1 week. (2)
  • 2 days. (1)
  • 24 hours, no generator. (1)
  • 3 day. (1)
  • 3 days - wednesday night to saturday night. (1)
  • 3 days. (6)
  • 3 days. it came back on then went back out for another 7 hours on the 4th day. (1)
  • 3 days. no access to generator. (1)
  • 3 or 4 days. (1)
  • 3-4 days came on but went off again 2-3 times. (1)
  • 3-4 days. (1)
  • 3. 5 days, miraculously. we left for a planned trip to the beach that saturday, the telephone pole was still in the street. that night my dog/house sitter told me the power was back on!. (1)
  • 3. 5 days. (1)
  • 4 days. (2)
  • 4 or 5 days. (1)
  • 4-5 days. (3)
  • 5 days, perhaps. (1)
  • 5 days. (5)
  • 5 days. i was impressed. (1)
  • 5 days?. (1)
  • 7 days. (2)
  • 8 months. (1)
  • 8hrs. (1)
  • @ 6 hours. (1)
  • A few days. (1)
  • About 3 days. (1)
  • Approx 80 hours. (1)
  • Approximately five days. (1)
  • Can’t recall. week. (1)
  • Days. (1)
  • Do not remember exactly but believe it was a few days. (1)
  • Don't know. (1)
  • Four and a half days. (1)
  • Four or five days, maybe a week. (1)
  • I believe 4-5 days. (1)
  • I believe it was 5 days. the amazing thing was that my neighbor and i had discussed getting generators. little did i know after a couple months he ordered them. they arrived the day after the storm. somehow that delivery truck made it up our street with the downed trees. the telephone company had just removed the pole which blocked the street. (1)
  • I believe power was out for three days and internet service was out for about a week. (1)
  • I believe we were without power 3 days. (1)
  • I can't remember specifically. 3 days maybe? it came back faster than i thought it would. (1)
  • I don't remember. (1)
  • I think it was around a month before we had a temporary electric line placed. we didn't have full electric for 7 months. (1)
  • I’d guess half a day? i honestly don’t really recall. i know it was longer than usual following an outage from a storm. (1)
  • Maybe 10 hours. i was pleasantly surprised at how quickly they were able to restore it. (1)
  • Over a week. (1)
  • Roughly 48 hours. (1)
  • Several days. my family brought a small generator that could power my refrigerator and charge my phone. (1)
  • Several days; forget exact number. (1)
  • Three days. (2)
  • Unsure how long because we stayed at the hospital with our son. (1)
  • We are still not able to return to our home. (1)
  • We were lucky - came back on around 7 pm the next day. (1)
  • Wed @ 6:25 until fri 7:30. (1)

Did you have access to a generator?


Damage Assessment to your home and property.

Did your property incur any damage?


Yard damage

Garden structures
Outside furniture

Other outside damage

  • Debris in my pool, pool filter, lamp post, birdhouses, and much more. (1)
  • Fence damaged, but from trees (not blown down). (1)
  • Kayaks, patio wall and drainage pipes. (1)
  • Minor fencing damage. (1)
  • Our daughter’s brand new trampoline. (1)
  • Pool heater crushed, both power boxes for pool and landscape and sprinkler system. (1)
  • Roof and electrical box was pulled off. (1)
  • Small branches and debris in yard only. (1)
  • Sunroom was impacted to the extent that it was structurally unsound and had to be rebuilt. paver patio damaged. garage gutters damaged. awning damaged and had to be replaced. portion of vinyl fence damaged. (1)

Home damage

Water damage
Major structural damage
Completely collapsed
Condemned for demolition

Other home damage

  • Gutters. (2)
  • Seals on windows broken (leak between panes and cloudy). some siding damage, minor. (1)

Was the damage covered by your home owners insurance?

Prefer not to say

Were other sources of financial assistance available to you?

Prefer not to say

Please explain source of financial assistance

  • FEMA (1)
  • I did not take advantage of the low interest loan as I felt like it was a high pressure sale to spend money I didn't have, not a service from the government. (1)
  • There were people from Fema around but we did not need further assistance (1)
  • We received a generous donation from the Wenonah women's guild (1)

Volunteer Efforts

Did you get involved with the Volunteer effort after the tornado?


Which volunteer groups helped you or which volunteer groups did you engage with as a volunteer during the recovery effort?

I volunteered my own time with the efforts organized by the Woman's Club of Wenonah to donate materials in front of the Library and to delivery hot meals to people who needed them.
The people at the libary who gave out tarps and other goodies.
Womans Club
We volunteered at library to help residents needing assistance.
Brought donations to library
The town was very helpful in putting us on meal trains, making sure we had people to help with cutting trees, and helping with inside home damage with supplies (trash bags, tarps, water, brooms, rakes etc)
I went down the the Library to see how I can help. My Women's Club, Gloucester County, donated gift cards which I sent to various residents. My husband is Office of Emergency Management. My son helped at the Fire House and my daughter also helped at the Library one afternoon.
Fire Co went door to door.
I was involved with our neighbors in the clean up of our street. I believe the tornado went directly down Monroe St., so we have been a constant support for one another in cleaning up and coping with the disaster.
We were helped by the Womens club from the library. Also a family was delivering waters in a wagon to homeowners.
I helped clear properties with the women’s club and by just walking around helping neighbors
My wife did her volunteering through the Fire Company. I helped neighbors and did safety checks voluntarily with Gloucester Co Emergency Management
Larry helped neighbors and the Shade Tree Commission work to understand tree damage. I have a text queue with all of Council so we were helping to get people to places in those first few hours and days as Emergency Management set up and volunteer groups got set up. Then I mostly helped neighbors directly, often connecting them with Emergency Management resources.
The Women's Club was absolutely wonderful. One of their volunteers drove me to pick up the prescription for my perforated eardrum with my car being damaged and inaccessible. There was also a group of at least 20 volunteers that showed up at our house to help clear all of the debris from the yard. The Women's Club also gave us meals for a week afterwards. Volunteers throughout the town donated moving boxes so we could pack up the house.
I was able to physically assist. But I connected the Lions club members to the folks in charge to assist with anything.
Library volunteers
Worked with the woman’s club to gather donations by the library
We were overwhelmed with our own repairs and financial hardship.
Not with groups, but personal help around our block
I helped with the library and the group working there, I distributed food/necessities, cleaned yards, sorted clothing, bought essential items/collected donations
The majority of my time spent assisting after the tornado was through the fire company. The night of the event we focused on helping residents who needed help getting out of their homes and getting to safe/dry shelter. In the days following we spent time clearing downed trees, going door to door to perform wellness checks on residents, and taking damage reports from residents for the county database (to be turned over to FEMA). There was one afternoon where they secured outside coverage so we were free to handle things on our properties but since my property sustained only very minor damage I signed up at the library (which I believe was coordinated by the Woman's Club) to help others and spent the day clearing yards and transporting debris to the dumpsters for folks.
Something formed on the GroupMe app…husbands helped chainsawing
I was the recipient of help from the volunteers organized by the Wenonah Womens' Club, including obtaining food and supplies from the tables of donations up at the library. The Womens' Club also organized and delivered meals and water to many who were affected by the storm for at least a week.
My wife is a member of the Wenonah Womens Club, so I was deployed by them on multiple days to help clear properties of fallen trees and deliver food to damaged homes
I managed a table at the library, dispatching volunteers to various homes that needed work.
helped neighbors, neighbors helped me
We had help from local residents - someone loaned me their portable generator so my emergency crew could make cuts to the wood to board up my windows. We received food and water donations from the relief effort. There were a couple people from out of town that helped clean up debris.
We worked together with our neighbors.
We were on vacation the week after. If we weren't I think we would have been more involved in volunteering. Fellowship Bible Church helped clean up our side yard one day. Gloucester County Women's Club donated gift cards to us.
Members of a church in Barnsboro helped cut branches, trees, and cleared a path to access back yard.
I do not know who they were, but they did a great job.
The group set up at the library, I think it was the Womens Club.
We had a lot of help from our neighbors, friends and family. We also helped and looked after our neighbors in return. We did as much as possible ourselves and directed the volunteers towards to families that were in greater need.
random groups and individuals, I don't remember their names. I helped others when I could, but I was struggling with managing my own mess at the time.
Due to my age and physical decline I was unable to help. I did give young trees to some who had lost them.
My son & I were able to remove the debris from our yard - we did not need others to help us. Our neighbors were all helping each other when needed.
We received a blue bucket with great items
But my tenant did get help from library
Our family run landscape company volunteered by planting trees in the park.
The people out at the library.
The people gathered at the library and teachers from WenonAh school that came and brought lunch and water
Memorial Presbyterian Church was asked to disperse donated funds via the Women’s Club to affected families. I was on the committee who assessed those requests.
We (Denise & Bob Berg) put our name on Wenonah's give-help/get-help list and visited the "control center" at the Library. We brought our chain saw with us and worked on the grounds of two houses on Mantua Ave. I also contacted my church, Gloucester County Community Church (GCCC) asking for prayer. GCCC responded by sending a team from our Neighbor Nearby program and I worked with our team on two more houses a couple of days after the storm. We checked with neighbors to see if anyone else needed help and referred them to the folks at the Library.
Woman's Club outside of the library
We had two young high school boys help me to remove my fence. I went to the library when I could and offered assistance where needed. We also had friends and other neighbors help us too.
We helped clear roads immediately after with the fire department with chainsaws(former firefighters).
I moved to Wenonah 1 month prior to the tornado and my wife(fiancé) at the time was away in DC for work…we were FaceTiming during the tornado.
I was helped by members of the community including teachers from Wenonah Elementary. I was supplied with ice, non perishables and a case of water. As an employee of the school, some of my teacher friends helped clean up my yard and shopped for me.
The library served as a center location for much of the volunteer effort.
I had plenty to take care of myself, but did help my neighbor.
Woman's Club dropped off food and moral support.

Learning from the Experience

Do you think those involved handled the situation well enough?


Please describe your experience with the Emergency Response. (Borough, County, State, Federal)

I was so impressed by the actions of our civic groups, emergency responders, neighbors, and community leaders!
The volunters at the Library were great and also those helping throughout the town was superior.
I would like the Borough to consider reinstating the firehouse siren as a warning system “to take shelter” as not everyone carries their phone when around the house, especially seniors. We had what I considered short notice since we were on the back porch without a phone nearby.
Handled very well at local level by borough and county. Utility companies seemed to respond well.
We need to investigate ways to contact those without Facebook, social media. More door to door communication. We need a way to gather emergency funds quickly to get out to people in needed. One thing I learned is that most people in this town are self reliant and hesitant to ask for help.
I think the mayor did an excellent job of keeping people informed via social media. The power company seemed to be on the spot, and other agencies in town were excellent.
Our only experience was with the borough volunteer efforts. I can't say enough good things about how swiftly it came together, and how much tangible assistance was provided.
The woman’s club saved the day
Rich Black did an amazing job of getting Emergency Management set up. The network of fire companies and resources from other towns that got here in the first few hours was amazing. Then on day 2 and 3 it was really difficult because there was too much traffic in town and too many companies soliciting and ripping off the residents. We had no playbook for this event. Overall the volunteer groups did an amazing job helping the homeowners and Emergency Management did a great job with clearing streets safely.
Town leadership was incredible- the mayor checked on us and was advocating for FEMA assistance. I can't believe how quickly the town rallied to provide assistance and clean up.
Absolutely. 100%
Didn’t deal directly with emergency responders
Workers worked tirelessly to clean the streets.
Volunteers were amazing. FEMA was worthless.
The only complaint was Comcast. They should've wired each home.. Home by home.. just AC electric did. It was very frustrating watching them jump around town in the order of their calls instead of working in a grid.
I already mentioned this in one of my previous responses but I think the borough, the county, and our neighboring towns did a tremendous job in the recovery efforts after the tornado. By the time I made it to the fire company the night of the storm, there were already volunteers from 4-5 other local volunteer fire companies who had showed up to help. In the weeks following, the response effort from our public works folks in addition to the public works folks sent by other towns to assist was tremendous. The electric companies sent technicians from as far south as Virginia and as far north as Canada to assist in replacing poles and restoring power to residents. It was incredible to witness and be a part of that effort.
I'm not sure. This was my first interaction with FEMA. The representatives were polite and wanted to be helpful, but with the exception of offering a small business loan application they could really do nothing to help if you had homeowners' insurance. It would have been good to get some help with the very expensive cost of tree removal work, especially since multiple damaged trees needed to be removed from our property. Insurance companies will only pay for partial removal of a tree that falls on a structure. Tree work is very expensive. Assistance either from the County or the Borough would have been helpful - even including some meaningful property tax 'abatement' to lessen the cost of the storm to individual homeowners. I believe FEMA assisted with tree stump removal for large trees along the curbs, but so far the borough's Shade Tree Commission has not been able to help with removing curb trees that are either dying or badly damaged. I think they did remove dangerous "hangers" from curb trees. Meanwhile it is risky to park a car near a damaged tree, especially with hurricane season coming before long. This was the third time our home had been damaged in a storm in the years we've lived in town, and the most costly.
From the mayor, to town council, to volunteer organizations, to citizens and even people who came to help from neighboring towns, the help was amazing to see. I was proud to be a part of it
Volunteers came to our house and took down broken limbs (widow makers) from the trees direct above the path for school children. Dan Cox also collect the stop sign that was blown away and placed it back at the intersection which help prevent car accidents
I was impressed with the level and speed of the response in the immediate aftermath
I expected no help from FEMA and unsurprisingly received none. Local response was amazing and I am so thankful to our town and its residents for their help. Utility repairs were done at an astounding pace and repair crews came from as far as Quebec. State response seemed to gloss over us in Wenonah and focused on other afflicted areas.
Having never experienced anything like this before, I feel they did the best they could.
This took everyone by surprise. I think they did well considering the circumstances.
Did not use emergency response
Firefighters knocked on my door that night to make sure we were okay, I received calls from the borough, as well.
The borough and others did an amazing job of addressing the problems immediately. The Environmental Commission went right to work on the trails; AC Electric and other organizations helped immensely and we are very grateful.
There was always a dumpster available and there was daily pick up of branches from the streets
Can’t say that I have anything to compare
The power co. and borough response was great.
New Jersey
Borough did a great job. Much needed large dumpsters were provided. Roads cleared as soon as possible. Trees were removed and electric restored in a timely and efficient manner.
We did not need help.
Mayor Dominy was terrific. The dumpsters that the Freeholders provided were invaluable. Whoever orchestrated the volunteer system, matching those in need with helpers, should be commended. In the aftermath, Gary Odenbrett, the Shade Tree Commission, and others, should be thanked for their efforts to get our town back in shape. FEMA was useless. I was told I could get a loan through the small business administration to help pay for the redesign and rebuild of my backyard landscaping (since damage was not covered by insurance) and in the end, after applying for assistance and stating clearly the reason why, I was denied the money because they would only give $5,000. It was a lengthy and frustrating process.
Since this is the first tornado that I have lived through, I felt that what was going on with all the emergency management teams was adequate because I have nothing else to compare it with. The convoy of the electric companies from NJ and surrounding states was beautiful to see. Those men and women worked together to get our electric back on sooner that I expected. I was thankful for them.
I was amazed of the immediate response from people all over the country.
Mayor updating letters were helpful, as were county dumpsters brought in. I think job of clearing the streets and restoring accessibility was quite satisfactory.
The town was quick to remove limbs from the street.
This is my 3rd tornado and everyone did a remarkable job. Communication was as good as possible, road clearing went as well as possible, even the electric co got debris cleared remarkable well. Everyone we talked to was extremely polite and encouraging.
We had deliveries at our door from the emergency response team. Police officers checked in on us. They were very helpful and kind.

Has anyone been unethical or broken the law? (Thinking of some of the reports of predatory pricing for tree removals, etc…)


How certainty are you about whether laws have been broken?

The tree service took advantage of the treee damage and engaged price gouging. Contractors engaged in presure tactics to get signed contracts. Unethical put not illegal.
Prices for tree removal were all over the place!
We had tree damage and removal costs. We received 3 estimates with 2 of the estimates about the same. However, the third estimate was more than twice the other two.
I have no direct knowledge other than having seen Facebook posts
There seemed to be quite a lot of price gouging especially with tree removals.
I don’t have firsthand knowledge. “Don’t know” was not a survey option.
Yes 2 different people stole my deposits and One roofing company offered a free tarp then threatened to put a lean on my house when I refused to pay
My neighbor paid way too much to have trees removed; far beyond the allowed upcharge. By the time we had a way to communicate to residents about predatory practices and that residents need to report these practices, much of the damage was done.
This is not illegal but unethical-- our mortgage company is hoarding our insurance money and will only issue payments in phases based on the repairs being completed, but this has caused us to have to drain our personal savings to pay the contractors deposits, or ask them to wait until the mortgage company releases the money. This is unethical- why should the hard working contractors wait for their money when they need to pay their people? This process protects the mortgage company while making individual families and workers suffer. I understand they do not want us running away with the money, but if we did, that is criminal behavior and would be dealt with as such. If this is the rule, then they should agree to pay contractors DIRECTLY to ensure the money goes to the repair work, but they won't do that either. We are fortunate to be able to even have savings to help put out some out of pocket costs, but many families cannot afford this, and it is not right that mortgage companies can do this.
Our tress cost 20000 to remove!
Oh yeah, ask the mayor
Our remediation company
I have no documented evidence of this, but there were tree removal companies quoting folks upwards of $40,000 to remove downed trees on their property. I'm going to assume that's not normal pricing, so that seems predatory to me.
It was more unethical behavior on the part of one particular tree removal company, who grossly overcharged for their work and went on to seek others to overcharge in the aftermath of the storm. I do not know what the laws governing this are.
Not sure about laws, but I know there were electricians and tree services price gouging. I saw Mayor Dominy ask a few of them to leave for doing just this
We had a random roofing company talk to us while we were cleaning up. Pretty sure they were not from this area. They gave us a free estimate but we didn't use them.
My landlord- he told workers they could take scrap from the backyard and they took some of my things that were definitely not scrap ceramic potted plant and fishing pole they were returned. But I believe he has them take down a beautiful bush that just had cardinals nesting with new nest destroyed just for the ornate metal that held the tree - he also does not do anything until it has gotten so bad I am not paying full rent - the tree is gone and poor birds - we have had a major rat infestation- now it is just ants - regardless no cabinets can be used because of this- also A pipe broke in the ceiling of the bathroom I live in it’s been a few months got home and it was raining inside - fortunately the contractor came out and turned the water off - then fixed the pipe and ceiling the next day- probably comes in when the landlord does not want to pay them so all work stales and he want to use his own people or do it himself- it is his property but then I am stuck with his mess. Now he is doing nothing. My hope is that he sells the property to someone that will be more diligent-
There were a couple of individuals that stopped and gave incredible costs for tree removal. Illegal, no, unethical yes.
I have no 1st hand experience however I have heard of the predatory pricing others have experienced.
I know there were certain contractors that didn’t sign up with the borough and we were warned to watch out for predatory contractors.
Not sure if laws were broken but there was a predatory tree removal service that took advantage of one of our neighbors.
I think some people took this as an opportunity. Previous roofer who just put roof on my home 6 months prior made sure to alert me the very next day that my roof and work was no longer under warranty. He was sure to charge me to tarp the roof And then reminded me all materials went up before assessing damage and my cost for new roof would be more. There were people knocking on my door for days asking for business including tree removal - roofers - and adjusters.
Quotes for clean up and roof repair were significantly higher right after the storm compared to when we looked 6 months earlier with the same companies.
I just think that some tree companies were "ambulance chasers" if you will. Some came knocking on my door before I had a chance to pull my emotions together and offered me ridiculous prices with the urgency that the trees needed to be removed asap.
Direct experience with predatory tree pricing. State was of no particular help in holding anyone accountable.

Tell us about what went really well or what went really wrong with the preparation/cleanup/repairs related to the tornado? We’d like to find ways to improve in the community’s future emergency response.

I don't think so. I like how the groups are working together. I do wonder if, now that we've had this severe weather event, if there is an official "plan" in place in case of emergency so that all the various civic orgs and local churches, etc, can communicate and be up and running faster in a more coordinated way.
Not aware of any
None that I know.
In our opinion the local response from borough and county was excellent, as was the volunteer effort by the community and even some outside Wenonah.
Wenonah and Glouster County did an excellent job cleaning up afterwards. Utility companies as well
Some of my friends had trouble with their insurance companies. From my perspective, the town rallied in an exemplary manner. I am so very grateful to the Shade Tree Commission and all of the volunteers who helped get us back to normal. Age and basic physical problems prevented me from assisting but I would have if I were able.
Loved the central meeting spot at the library for supplies and food. There should be maybe a mass text or call alerting when severe weather is coming/check on neighbors..and where to go if need assistance.
I feel like we need to focus on what people really need. We need to work on communication and working together. I felt like there were a lot of people who wanted to help but did not work together. The right hand didn't really know what the left hand was doing.
Went well - Clearing streets, communications, emergency response center established, resources brought in . . .
I have no knowledge of what went wrong, if anything.
I felt like the response was organized and efficient. As our home was one that received a lot of damage, we felt we had a lot of assistance from the community. The Gateway Football team even came to help us clean up!
It would have been helpful to have a single official source of all news, updates, scheduled cleanup, etc., rather than relying on multiple on-line, word of mouth, etc. sources.
I thought the response was great pertaining to the electrical company. We had a crew from Maryland helping us on N Marion. So many people volunteering to help rake, cut tree limbs, bring food and water to workers
Volunteer help went above and beyond nothing negative or constructive to say
All local emergency management, neighbors, and Atlantic City electric workers were amazing. I heard of some companies price gouging people but we did not use anyone. We have done the repairs ourselves or with people we met through word of mouth
The communication between the County and the Borough was shaky at first. I don't think most of the residents saw this of course. Residents all jumped in to help each other clear out debris and that included on sidewalks and streets. It wasn't until a couple days/weeks/months later that we realized how much detail FEMA needs - who did what, who drove the truck, how many bags of debris, where was it taken, etc. - to even file for reimbursement. The Borough staff was so busy with those details to get reimbursement for damage to public property that there was no way to provide any support to residents. Again, no playbook for this one!!
Mobilizing people that wanted to help went extremely well, through the creation of the volunteer hub at the library. Having the dumpsters available was also super helpful. One thing that would be better is if there was some coordinated effort to check on each home immediately (back and front, because from the front you wouldn't think my home suffered the damage it did) to make sure noone was trapped. In the chaos of it all I am not sure that occurred.
I think the community did a fabulous job in the face of extreme circumstances. Nothing but respect for everyone’s assistance & dedication
The community response was amazing. Within a week, we had a huge crew of neighbors and friends helping us clean up our yard.
I thought the community did a great job helping one another.
The community was absolutely amazing. In what was one of our darkest hours, I felt like the people of this town were shining a light for us to get through it.
Electricity was out for too long. I did see trucks from Maryland.
Community response was wonderful. Our issues were with our insurance company and mortgage company who took over our money and wouldn’t give us deposits to have work done.
The clean up process in terms of tree removal, and clearing streets were very impressive. I can't imagine it going any quick than it did. Atlantic City Electric was amazing quick.
Since I had no damage, I am not most qualified to answer this.
There were a lot of things that went really well. The town showed its resilience in how quickly and relentless individual folks chipped in to volunteer to help each other for weeks. The kindness and generosity that folks showed one another was astounding. The Woman's Club organization of creating a sign up for folks who needed help and a sign up of volunteers willing to help and connecting them was a stellar idea that allowed so many people to help and be helped. The emergency response from our volunteer fire company, our emergency manager (Richard Black - you should talk to him if you haven't already), and our mayor were tireless. The county sent in resources and manpower to assist. The town came together to immediately start planning to replace all the lost trees. All in all I think the response was really great. I think that ideally we could find a way to stop or regulate the predatory price gouging that went on, but I'm not sure how that would be done.
I would credit the Womens' Club with organizing the community's emergency response. They sought and obtained emergency supplies and food, organized their operations for the public at the library (central to town), found volunteers to help where help was needed at individual properties, including going up on the roof to tack down a tarp, offering friendly moral support, delivering water and meals for a good number of days, and helping to clear debris from broken structures and hauling it up to a dumpster. The American Legion members, and perhaps the Lion's Club as well (?) sent volunteers with chain saws to help remove dangerous trees from some properties; and the Shade Tree Commission came around to talk about taking damaged street trees down at no cost to the homeowner (which now doesn't seem at all likely). The borough also arranged a work party to plant young trees in the park after the damaged trees were all removed. On a side note, after the major storm cleanup was accomplished and residents were busy having roofs and siding replaced, the Environmental Commission organized work parties to gradually clear the trails that were affected by the storm (mainly, the trails in the woods from West Cedar out to the ball field at Mantua Blvd, and the boardwalk trails along the wetlands behind the south end of Jefferson and West Cedar St. What a lot of hard work they did!
I was happy with the borough’s response, I thought the cleanup help and volunteers were great and checked on us a few times. No criticisms here.
Having the “command center” at the library - virtually the center of town - was a fantastic idea. The womens club coordinated collection and distribution of supplies. They also had spotters going up and down the streets to identify where help was needed, and they could deploy volunteers to go to those locations. Teenage kids were sent on bikes to deliver supplies and food. I honestly thought it was handled as perfectly as you could expect for such an unexpected event.
The command center that was set up at the library was set up extremely well given first time for such an event. We could have used a walkie-talkie system to help with our scouting efforts to determine who needed help as we sent scouts out on bike to various areas of town to report back. Also, may want to look at having a large tent on hand. Understand Lions club may be purchasing one very soon.
The efforts by the utility company and emergency services to restore power and clear the streets were excellent. The restoration to a relative normalcy was impressively quick. However follow-up efforts in the weeks after the initial response were underwhelming
Mantua helped with tree removal Wenonah replaced broken sidewalk
Despite the chaos in the aftermath, the outpouring of the community to make sure everyone was fed and taken care of was ASTOUNDING. The mayor was giving regular updates on progress. Access to dumpsters was great. I appreciated that the volunteers handed out PPE like work gloves. Utility repairs went well - with the exception of Comcast who did not seem to care at all. It took us weeks to get them to restore our internet and they kept telling us it was fixed when it was not.
Gateway should not have open up on the scheduled date. They should of given Wenonah time to recover. Also Gateway had no outreach to the Wenonah students. Gloucester County removal of the tree debris and dumpster made things very easy. Also Wenonah Public Works was excellent. Wenonah fire fighters came by to check on us.
It seemed fairly efficient. Volunteers dropped off food and water a few times. I remember that the FB page always had info and was up to date.
As I stated in the beginning Wenonah has been wonderful!!! I think the only thing we can do is make sure that we understand that we are now in a tornado alley and we may not want another it could happen again so not sure what the educational factors for children and folks going to move here need to know what happened and even though it looks so great again it can happen again and just knowing what to do If it does. Access to basements if you have one or what do you do if you have to go outside to get to one. Some of us have never experienced anything like this so again thankful to this community!!!
Asplungh came through cutting down trees and dumped the trees in the conservation area next to our house. They did not come back to retrieve them and the dead trees are still there. It stinks in the ditch next to our house, not sure if it’s decay or stagnant water from the street runoff. We’ve tried to clean up as best we can, but we’re older and can do just so much. Cleaning up our yard has been a slow process and we still have more to do.
Iam so impressed by the reponse of the neighbors. They just wonderful.
Overall, I think it went as well as could be expected for the clean up. As far as preparation goes, you may want to consider developing a team of people that could check on people in town (elderly,people with medical conditions) to make sure they are Ok. These people would be something like a block captain assigned to a specific area.
I thought the town did a good job of keeping residents informed.
Community response was great.
The dumpsters were a tremendous help, the Women's Club rocked the volunteer scene. I am still waiting for one of my trees to be removed by the borough as promised.
Having no real damage to my home or property, I can't speak on that topic, but the community and its organizations did what I consider a superlative job. I just wish I could have pitched in to help.
We were pleased and thankful for everything. We did not need a third party to assist, which I understand, was an issue to some. Since there was no damage to our home, it was easier. With no electricity for days, we lost all food but we were able to cook alot and we shared with others.
The areas that we are close to all tried to assist each other and make sure we are safe
Some of the removal of trees in park were questionable and many felt like a licensed arborist was not consulted before assigning trees to be felled. Specifically, the majestic in the center of the park.
Again, we were not here from 9/1 - 9/5. It appears to us that ALL efforts to clean up Wenonah were implemented as efficiently as possible. I am sure others with larger storm-related issues may disagree, as we were largely unaffected. However, streets were cleared quickly, cluttered streets were cordoned off to insure safety, and most efforts appeared to have been successful.
I think there could have been better communication and organization between the various companies responsible for cables. The electricity company was great, but Comcast not so much.
Cable - went horrible. Seems they never properly hooked lines back up and for months was paying for high speed internet that I wasnt Getting because of error from Comcast. The tech agreed on the error but Comcast never reimbursed Me. It was 8 months. Why did some homes get tree removal from the curb line and some didn’t. I was Cleaning up my yard then the township guys as they were cutting trees from curb put that debris on my lawn after I cleaned Up my own debris. I went Chasing after the Truck and made him move it all. Took them 45 min but should never have been left on my property
We feel the Borough of Wenonah did a great job coordinating with many groups and entities to help the residents. In addition, the friends and neighbors in our town came together and helped each other during this very difficult time.
The volunteer activity within the town was awe inspiring. Would have been willing to help but didn’t know what resources were needed or how to offer assistance. Perhaps a mass email, text or phone call via Borough Hall?
I am unaware of preparations for the storm. With regard to cleanup, I thought it was amazing. Since our NJ electric company workers were out of state working in other areas with tornado damage, electric companies from Maryland and Ontario, Canada came down to help us. I was able to talk to some of them and thank them for helping. I was also glad to see the NJ Forest Fire Service trucks and equipment. The huge machines were amazing. We had walked around town right after the storm and saw all the damage and I think that cleanup was pretty good considering how complicated the cleanup was. With regard to cleanup, I thing the electric companies worked pretty fast. We were without power for about three days, but it could have been much, much worse.
American Legion in my yard the next day helping with tree removal! They were all over town. Fantastic!
Having a centralized location for information (library was a good spot - not everybody has Facebook). FEMA was a low point...
Communication could have been better. OEM did the best they could.
We didn’t have power for a really long time. And kept getting notifications that it would be on in a day or a certain amount of hours and then it wouldn’t happen. That was hard bc that was what we were looking forward to. Also the town was like a show afterward with people driving thru. PD should have found a better way to keep people out of the town knowing we didn’t have power and there were down trees and lines everywhere.
I do not feel that on my end there was anything that went wrong. I felt that all the people who volunteered their time was amazing. Helping people in your town that you don't know personally and doing things for them was amazing. I did have a fella with a pick up truck come to my home and with the help of my son, remove my water damaged heavy gel bed and took it to one of the dumpsters. I wouldn't have been able to do that myself especially since my mini van was crushed. My only thought is and this wasn't something that happened to me but I feel that maybe more people in this town really should communicate with their neighbors who do not have social media perhaps due to preference, affordability or age to let them know of the resources available to them should we experience some sort of storm destruction again. The other thing would be to try to get as many cell phone numbers from residents as you can so messages can be sent that way.
I felt the response to clear the streets and restore electricity went very well.
Atlantic City Electric line crews did a great job, although it wasn't 100% clear where their responsibility ended and the homeowner's responsibility began with regard to overhead wires. Comcast and Verizon were not especially speedy in restoring service, and could do a lot better in proactively communicating with their customers.
Women's club of Wenonah came and cleaned up our yard! Big help. Can't thank them enough.
Capital Adjustment, a team of adjusters came by that first day claiming to solve all my issues. They promised to take the huge limb that had fallen on my porch roof off that day. They didn't show up after I called several times and promised the next day. No word from them so I cancelled the contract. Leonard Electric charge $900 to repair electric wires to turn the electric back on. They worked for 1 hour, left wires taped and hanging loosely, seems a lot of money for messy looking work. I had wonderful neighbors that helped remove the limbs that covered my driveway and the front of my house. Even young folks that I didn't know came and helped. My family found a way to get here even though I told them they need a drone to find out what streets are passible. Mike Ristine from town saved the day by coming over and boarding the windows and putting tarp on my porch roof and repairing the top roof. He helped all through the restorative process. Ziegler tree service came on 9/4 and cut down 2 huge limbs from the porch roof with about 6 men and heavy equipment and only charged $640 which I thought was reasonable compared to Leonard electric with 2 men and only 1 hour of service. These old homes, as mine will be 100 years old next year, still have some plaster. I had to just replace a wall rather than try to find a man who does plaster repairs.
Because this went quite well, I suspect you already have a short list of what to do differently next time.
All went well for us.
I believe Wenonah and Gloucester County handled the emergency effectively and quickly. AC Electric did a fantstic job restoring power and completing repairs throughout the town even though there was significant damage and limited access to some areas. Overall within two weeks the town was back to normal functions.

Is there anything that could have been done better or made things easier for people?

I like how the Mayor of the Borough communicated through mass phone calls, texts, social media, and email. I felt like that was extremely helpful. I think that if there had been an emergency resources page set up on the Borough website (and a hard copy placed in residents' mailboxes), then people would have known where to go to donate, where to go for meals, where to go for free internet access until they were reconnected, and that sort of thing. I think we should do that.
I thought the effort on the north east side of town went well. Electric was restored fairly quickly as well as trees and telephine poles removed from the street.
The responses that were helpful: The county trash cans were available. County trimmed trees over sidewalks and streets. County sent volunteers in the aftermath, door to door.
No, but some residents will respond more appropriately to tornadoes in the future; e.g., take shelter in a timely manner.
Advance warnings are always useful, if possible. At the shore folks are always given hurricane instructions. But here, inland, tornadoes are new to us (thanks I’m sure to climate change), and practical instruction should probably be disseminated as a matter course now that these storms are more frequent. I.e., get into a basement (or not?), etc., etc.
Not really. This was a first time event for everyone, and it went about as well as could be expected since everyone was making it up as they went along.
It's so important that the Borough always has good volunteers in place for those roles residents don't really see - like Emergency Management Coordinator. Had Rich Black not been in that role it would have been a very different, and much more confusing, few days. When you have elected officials and key emergency staff who all work together well and are focused on doing what's best for the town it goes as smoothly as possible. But it never feels smooth at the time.
Not that I can think of
Not by the community. The insurance company could have been faster to respond.
Not have “sight seers” walk by and not offer any help. Or take pictures of the damage.
I thought the town responded quickly.
I wish I had known more about private adjusters
Again, don’t feel qualified to answer.
Less people from other towns driving around in the following days
For me personally, no, but my property suffered only very minor damage and was easily repaired, so I am speaking from a place of privilege there.
The community spirit of so many Wenonah residents was the most helpful thing of all.
Perhaps a borough-wide opt-in text alert system for future emergencies. Just a thought.
Not that I can think of
Maybe look at obtaining some type of coupons for food from local food establishments to aid those families without electricity and the ability to cook.
The follow up efforts at cleanup and outreach to residents about any continuing need for assistance would have been much appreciated. Eg several sections of my fence were knocked down by falling limbs in the storm. I dragged these pieces to the curb as soon as the tree debris was cleared (my street was impassable for 3 days). The fence is still sitting there over 9 months later. My neighbor had a large tree fall in their yard. Their insurance company refused to cover the removal of the tree, and only partially covered damage to their home and vehicles, which was quite severe. As a result, they didn't have the ready disposable income to pay for the removal of the downed tree. Rather than inquiring if they needed assistance or help removing said tree, code enforcement threatened to fine them if they didn't have the tree removed postehaste. I don't expect the borough to be responsible of every minor detail of the cleanup, but in my neighbors case, they clearly needed assistance due to the shortfall of their insurance payout. I myself am in a similar position as I have approximately $40000 in damage and my insurance company will only compensate me $14000.
more help with tree removal. I still have a huge oak stump in my backyard
I'm not sure I could have expected our local leadership to have done any more. I would have liked better support from a higher level IE state/federal, in the way of financial support or offering subsidized services to support clean up and repair
More streets should have locked to restrict traffic.
Not that I could say
I do not think so great community effort!!!!
More direct communication to the townspeople.
For my part, it could not have been better.
For the first week the streets were blocked off without any notice which ones were affected. This changed on a daily basis
I don't know
There wasn’t much more to do with that much damage
There was great effort on the part of volunteers and their efforts are much appreciated. While everyone acted swiftly some opportunities were missed to save some trees and stumps that could have been used as memorials in our park. I wish I was here to assist neighbors. Council has expressed significant costs to town with little support from FEMA. The expenditures and relief money details should be shared with the public.
The state or county should provide some type of public advocate to help with dealing with the insurance company.
More time and more locations for dumpsters
Yes, if the tornado had just skipped Wenonah! 😀
Better communication.
Our town was great and came together amazing.
As stated in my last comment, I feel that neighbors should reach out to those that may not know that there are resources available during an emergency. Maybe create a sort of Buddy System in the neighborhood
I can't think of anything.
I don't think a very good job was done informing us of specifically what usefulness Federal response could be to our individual needs.
When I was in the fire company we went around town to help all we could. Never saw a fireman this time. They may have been through in the Night and I didn't see them for someone cleared a path through the street which allowed me to get to the store for milk the next day. The path was small and scratched my car but I did get out.
I really didn't know who to contact as I needed someone local as we all did. Maybe a list of electricians, plumbers, contract people that will do small jobs, tree trimmers etc Those that charge a fair price and are willing to come as quickly as needed. The woman's club did a fabulous job of helping and the church meals were a blessing too.
Everyone tried their best to be helpful.

Do you have any questions or comments for the Historical Society?

Not right now!
Kudos to project team and Wenonah Historical Society for this project.
It was a night none of us will ever forget.
Thanks for doing this.
Thank you for doing this!
Not at this time
Please, feel free to reach out. If you want an actual account of the night. I’ve got a B.A. in history and would love to provide a decent first hand account.
Nope. You guys rock.
Not at the moment!
One last group to give props to: the businesses that donated supplies and food. Lowes, home depot, and chick fil a come to mind, but I know there were others
Thank you for setting up this survey. Will there be a full up meeting to review the suggestions? Crazy idea would be to set up a map with the homes that have whole house generator and provide them with long extension cords and power strips so the they can set up charging station. Our home has one and we ran a cord to our neighbor so the they could set up phone charging and coffee station.
thank you and good luck
We will share photos if you want them.
I think this is a great idea.
Please keep use historical please technology is wonderful but history is important for our future and world we will leave for future residents
Not a this time.
Nothing more to add.
Thanks for doing this
I commend you for creating this project, which may indeed make things easier should another simliar disaster hit again.
I hope this was the last of the tornadoes to visit Wenonah!!
Keep up the good work
Thank you for conducting this survey.
Thanks for helping make Wenonah a better place in which to live!
This project to document the significant and unusual weather event is a great idea! Thank you for your efforts.
Thank you for initiating this survey!
I found the "control center" at the Library very helpful. Many things were donated and useful. Having food and water for the volunteers was very important and we took advantage of it. We are grateful for the food trucks and churches that donated food and water because it helped us stay "gassed up" for the work we had to do.
This survey is a good idea to get a clear view of how people were impacted.

Is there any additional information you would like to share about the tornado or your experience?

No I’m boring
I have some writing I did as I've healed from this storm. I would be happy to share some if interested.
Not really.
Our repairs were 90% complete on May 10th. We paid for over $8,000 of our own repairs (insurance paid $24,000) due to “depreciation” and other factors. Couldn’t attain more from insurance despite attempts.
Not really but I'd be happy to answer questions at any time.
I'm fairly sure this will not have been the last tornado or major storm that will affect our town. I'm afraid we may be headed for more in the future. Regarding the next question, I'm not sure what the Historical Society is looking for. This survey itself is pretty comprehensive. I would have chosen "Maybe" rather than "Yes" if given the opportunity, and more detail.
People love living in Wenonah for the community. Good times (4th of July) and bad (this tornado), the community is there for each other in ways that a lot of other communities are not.
It was very uplifting to see how our youth came out and helped with the light clean up.
great neighbors here helping each other!
The tornado was a very traumatic experience. For our peace of mind, we have to move to disconnect ourselves from that trauma. It's sad, because we love Wenonah, but every day there are reminders of what we went through. Unfortunately, I think there are several other people in town that feel the same way. I think one unanticipated consequence of the tornado is an exodus of residents and a new generation of families moving it.
I think I have said enough oh no to the train - if there was a passenger train running during this time even though I firmly believe in public transportation- this is no longer an appropriate corridor.
That we live in a wonderful town with exceptional people, that are always willing to help and lend a helping hand. The people in our town got us all through this.
Insurance company was very prompt in responding and helping us financially for damage
I can understand the extreme feelings people have - the loss of property for many is awful & but the fact that the people are alive and well is precious!
I donated to the Wenonah Plant Fund. Are donations tax deductible since it’s been organized by an individual?
My roof contractor Ray's Roofing was great. I had a new roof in less than a week.
We have digital photos of the damage to our house and property caused by the tornado.
We remain amazed at the change in the landscape especially the damage to the trees in Gloucester County. The poor trees remain a constant reminder of the force of nature. But most of all, the compassion and camaraderie that we experienced in helping and seeing people help others was something I will never forget. I was impressed by our neighbors and by the several churches that stepped right up to the plate to help get things back to normal.
I was never so scared in my life. Thunderstorms used to be so calming for me, now they are terrifying.
It was truly scary once it was over and seeing the impact. We are fortunate not to have severe weather very often and never a tornado. The straight line wind was an amazing event too. I worry all the time about the tree in my neighbor's yard that fell on my house, it is still standing with limbs missing and the top off. Whenever a storm is coming, I watch the wind blowing hard and the tree billowing like bird wings flapping in the breeze. Insurance did not pay for all my expenses and I cannot afford to have this happen again.
Let's hope this is a one-time event!!
Overall Wenonah as a town and it's officials at the time did a competent job of communication with residents and prioritizing repairs .

End of Results