A car was flipped and pieces of the Deptford Mall's exterior were ripped off as a violent storm, described by witnesses as a tornado, sprinted across South Jersey Tuesday night.
"It was going a circular motion and it was coming straight towards us and that's when everything started happening," witness Blake Clemmer said.
A blue coupe was left on its windshield in the parking lot outside Macy's. Shoppers tell NBC10 they were ushered into the department store's basement to ride out the storm. There were no reports of injuries.
"It sounded like a freight train was coming down the road and lights flickered a few times and then just darkness," Max Baumle, another witness, said.
Debris broke the windows of several other vehicles parked outside the mall located along Clements Bridge Road in Deptford, New Jersey.
The mall suffered significant damage as well. Sheet metal wall panels near a mall entrance were left crumpled on the ground outside. Yellow fiberglass insulation panels dotted the parking lot and were left stuck under cars.
On the mall's roof, solar panels were peeled back like a band-aid.
Deptford Mall officials said the mall will be open for normal business hours Wednesday.
A Friendly's restaurant down the road from the mall had part of its roof pulled off.
The National Weather Service will decide Wednesday whether to travel to Deptford to investigate whether a tornado caused the damage. Winds were clocked at more than 70 mph at the height of the storm.