Great Lakes Derecho

Severe thunderstorms qualifying as a low-end derecho event caused structural damage in the U.S. Great Lakes region.

Severe thunderstorms stemming from a derecho that impacted the Great Lakes region this week spawned multiple tornadoes responsible for major structural damage in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey on Thursday.

Depending on results from a National Weather Service damage survey, it is possible that activity in New Jersey may have broken a record set in 1989 for the number of tornadoes produced from a single outbreak.

The storms also were responsible for isolated instances of flash flooding that resulted in water entering homes in two New Jersey towns.

Approximate locations reportedly sustaining structural damage:

New Jersey

  • Barnegat Township (Ocean County, 08005)
  • Harvey Cedars (Ocean County, 08008)
  • High Bar Harbor (Ocean County, 08008)
  • Hopewell Township (Mercer County, 08525)
  • Lakehurst (Ocean County, 08733, 08759)
  • Long Beach Island (Ocean County, 08008)
  • Mount Holly (Burlington County, 08060)
  • Willingboro (Burlington County, 08046)


  • Concordia (Middlesex County, 08831)
  • West Caldwell (Essex County, 07006, 07007)


  • Wintersville (Jefferson County, 43952, 43953)


  • Bensalem (Bucks County, 19020, 19021)
    *Concentrated home damage in Penn Valley Terrace mobile home park
  • Buckingham Township (Bucks County, 18912)
  • Feasterville-Trevose (Bucks County, 19053)
  • Hellertown (Northampton County, 18055)
  • Kempton (Berks County, 19529)
  • Lynn Township (Lehigh County, 19529)
  • New Hope (Bucks County, 18938)
  • Plumstead Township (Bucks County, 18949)
  • Trevose (Bucks County, 19053)
  • Weisenberg Township (Lehigh County, 18031, 18051, 18066, 19530)
Media Coverage N.J. weather: Multiple tornadoes may have slammed state during powerful thunderstorms
The Weather Channel: Tornadoes Strike the Northeast After Derecho Rakes the Upper Midwest (RECAP)
WPVI ABC 6: Bucks County residents hunkered down during storm: ‘It sounded like a bomb went off’

Initial Post (7/29/2021)

A concentration of severe thunderstorms qualifying as a low-end derecho event moved through the Great Lakes Region early Thursday, resulting in widespread power outages, downed trees/utility lines and structural damage.

According to media outlets, the storms produced wind gusts in excess of 70 mph, which brought down trees and power lines across portions of Wisconsin and the Chicago metro area. As a result, more than 130,000 homes and businesses were reportedly without power Thursday morning.

In addition to high winds, there have been at least two confirmed tornadoes that damaged multiple homes in southeast Wisconsin.

Approximate locations sustaining structural damage:

  • Brandon (Fond du Lac County, 53919)
  • Concord (Jefferson County, 53178)
    *Possible tornado damage
  • Cross Plains (Dane County, 53528)
  • Ixonia (Jefferson County, 53036)
  • Oconomowoc (Waukesha County, 53066)
  • Ringle (Marathon County, 54471)
  • Ripon (Fond du Lac County, 54971)
  • Tomahawk (Lincoln County, 54487, 54532)
  • Wales (Waukesha County, 53183)
  • Watertown (Dodge/Jefferson Counties, 53094, 53098)
Media Coverage

The Weather Channel: Storms, Possible Tornadoes Damage Buildings, Knock Out Power in Wisconsin, Illinois
WISN ABC 12: At least 2 Tornadoes Confirmed in Southeast Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Journal: Gov. Evers declares state of emergency following severe weather, widespread damage across state

Declaration Activity

Office of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers: Gov. Evers Signs Executive Order #128 Declaring a State of Emergency Due to Severe Weather
Associated County ZIP Code List (Statewide)

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