Isaias: Strong winds, heavy rainfall expected as tropical system races up the Eastern seaboard

Updated: Aug. 4, 2020 at 2:58 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -Making landfall in southern North Carolina near Ocean Isle Beach around 11:10 Monday night as a category one hurricane, Isaias is now a tropical storm as it races north into Virginia.

State officials say two people were killed, dozens of others were injured and more than 300,000 people lost power as Isaias hit North Carolina.

Two people were confirmed dead after a possible tornado ripped through a mobile home park outside of Windsor, North Carolina early Tuesday morning.

Strong winds, heavy rainfall and tornadoes will be possible throughout the day as this blazes up the Eastern seaboard.

While Isaias will remain on land over the next 24 hours, tropical storm warnings are still in effect from coastal Virginia to Maine. This comes as tropical storm force winds and hurricane-force gusts from the tropical system are expected to spread northward along the Mid-Atlantic coast and into New England today and tonight, and could lead to downed trees and power outages.

Additionally, with the continuation of heavy rainfall expected along and just west of the I-95 corridor should anticipate flash flooding through this evening.

Meanwhile, storm surge warnings and watches remain in effect for portions of the North Carolina coast, where Isaias could still produce as much as 3-5 ft of flooding above ground level. 1-3 ft is expected farther north from Virginia to southeastern Massachusetts.

The storm set off flooding and sparked five home fires in Ocean Isle Beach, Debbie Smith, the town’s Mayor, told WECT-TV. Firefighters from the town’s fire department were battling the blaze with assistance from Horry County firefighters in South Carolina, the Associated Press reports.

As for weather in the WBTV viewing area, it has calmed down and we’re headed back for a more typical early August pattern of sunshine, hot temperatures and scattered thunderstorms. As for today, the humidity level won’t be too high, but we’ll jump back to near 90° this afternoon under mostly sunny skies. There’ll be one or two late-day thundershowers around, but nothing widespread or severe is expected.

Signs along the Carolina coast warned of impacts ahead of the storm’s arrival.

Tropical Storm Isaias expected to bring flooding, damaging winds, high storm surge for coastal...
Tropical Storm Isaias expected to bring flooding, damaging winds, high storm surge for coastal Carolinas(WBTV)

“North Carolinians have had to dig deep in recent months to tap into our strength and resilience during the pandemic. That hasn’t been easy. But with this storm on the way, we have to dig a little deeper. Let’s keep each other safe from the wind & water as well as from the virus,” Gov. Cooper said.

Stay updated with the latest track on Isaias by downloading the WBTV First Alert Weather App here.

Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency as North Carolina due to potential impacts from Isaias.

Cooper advises residents to follow any local evacuation orders that may be issued.

The state Emergency Operations Center – already activated for COVID-19 – has been activated as well for Isaias, and state and local response teams are ready.

The state of emergency was declared to help officials prepare for the possible impacts of the storm.

Gov. Cooper says shelters will be available for those who need them. Visit your county government website or call 211 for instructions on sheltering options.

Shelters will screen people for coronavirus symptoms. If someone has COVID-19 or shows symptoms, they will be directed to a sheltering option for isolation or medical attention. Shelters will have PPE and will honor social distancing.

State officials have deployed water rescue, transportation and emergency workers to the eastern part of the state. The governor says he has talked with U.S. Coast Guard leadership and they are standing by to help along with the North Carolina National Guard.

Health care workers are preparing to assist at a medical shelter if it’s needed. Swift water rescue teams, high water vehicles and helicopters are standing by and have been strategically positioned.

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