A severe thunderstorm darkened Toms River shortly after 7 p.m., with violent lightning briefly flickering traffic lights near Bay Avenue and Vaughn and leaving more than 11,000 without power.
In the Shelter Cove section of Toms River, a power outage was reported around 7:50 p.m., about the same time power was reported out near Oak Ridge Parkway.
Jersey Central Power and Light is reporting more than 11,000 customers in Toms River are without power at 9:30 p.m.
The NWS predicted dangerous lightning and winds in excess of 60 mph.
The utility company released the following message: "JCP&L is experiencing power outages throughout our service area. Crews are working to restore power to all affected areas as quickly and safely as possible. If you have not yet reported your service as being out, please use the report an outage link or call 1-888-544-4877. If you are experiencing a life threatening emergency call 911. Remember to treat all downed wires as live and dangerous."
The National Weather Service forecast for Toms River:
Tonight Showers and thunderstorms likely before 10pm, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm between 10pm and 11pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11pm. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds, heavy rain, and frequent lightning. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 77. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Sunday A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 92. North wind 6 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Sunday Night Isolated showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 66. Southwest wind around 8 mph becoming north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 20%.