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Isaias becomes a hurricane again as it prepares to slam into the Carolinas with eight inches of rain

Hurricane Isaias made landfall in North Carolina just after 11pm on Monday as local officials warned residents of life-threatening storm surges, flash floods, wind gusts of up to 85mph that knocked out power for at least 124,000 customers.

The massive system strengthened from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane as forecasters expect it to dump up to 8 inches of rain along most of the Eastern Seaboard, which is under a tropical storm watch stretching from Georgia all the way up to Maine.

Preparations for the storm’s arrival have been underway in major cities along the East Coast, including New York, where officials say Isaias packs the strongest punch since Superstorm Sandy from 2012. 

Video footage uploaded to social media by residents of Myrtle Beach show flooding induced by storm surge just before the hurricane was due to make landfall. 

‘Ocean Boulevard is just covered in storm surge,’ Josh Morgerman tweeted.  

People walk through flood-hit Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday after Hurricane Isaias made landfall

A man uses his phone to record video of floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. The hurricane made landfall in nearby North Carolina, generating sustained wind gusts of 85mph

A man uses his phone to record video of floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. The hurricane made landfall in nearby North Carolina, generating sustained wind gusts of 85mph

A group of people are seen above walking along a flooded roadway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday

A group of people are seen above walking along a flooded roadway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday

A car is driven along water-covered Sea Mountain Highway in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday night

A car is driven along water-covered Sea Mountain Highway in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday night

Storm surge covered the area as Hurricane Isaias made landfall near North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Sunday

Storm surge covered the area as Hurricane Isaias made landfall near North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Sunday

Fire officials in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, deployed high-water vehicles to rescue motorists stranded in floodwaters early on Tuesday morning

Fire officials in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, deployed high-water vehicles to rescue motorists stranded in floodwaters early on Tuesday morning

A high-water vehicle is seen driving down a flooded street in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, early on Tuesday morning

A high-water vehicle is seen driving down a flooded street in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, early on Tuesday morning

A high-water vehicle is seen driving down a flooded street in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, early on Tuesday morning

Fire officials are begging drivers to stay off the roads so that they could tend to other emergencies during the hurricane

Fire officials are begging drivers to stay off the roads so that they could tend to other emergencies during the hurricane

Storm surge is seen above in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday after Hurricane Isaias made landfall

Storm surge is seen above in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday after Hurricane Isaias made landfall

Storm surge is seen above in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday after Hurricane Isaias made landfall

Hurricane Isaias approached landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday evening

Hurricane Isaias approached landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday evening

Hurricane Isaias approached landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday evening, bringing heavy rain and strong wind gusts as well as coastal flooding

Meteorologists also expect up to 5 feet of storm surge for the region as Isaias makes it way inland

Meteorologists also expect up to 5 feet of storm surge for the region as Isaias makes it way inland

Meteorologists also expect up to 5 feet of storm surge for the region as Isaias makes it way inland

In the Carolinas, coastal residents secured patio furniture, ferry operators completed evacuations on the Outer Banks, and officials passed out sandbags and offered car space in elevated garages Monday as Isaias marched northward late on Monday.

Fire officials in North Myrtle Beach deployed high-water vehicles to rescue stranded drivers who got stuck in the floodwaters early Tuesday morning.

‘We are seeing several areas of the city beginning to have ponding on the roadways from heavy rain as well as tidal flooding in Cherry Grove,’ North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue posted on its social media.

Authorities are begging motorists to stay off the roads while the storm continues to impact the region.

‘You being out and getting stuck somewhere you shouldn’t be ties up Emergency Personnel that are needed for other incidents,’ North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue posted on its social media. 

In North Carolina, at least 124,000 power outages were reported in the Wilmington area the encompasses both Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, the Charlotte Observer reported. 

‘The high winds and heavy rains associated with this powerful tropical storm are expected to cause widespread power outages along the coastline and to points well inland,’ a Duke Energy update stated. 

‘Updates on the estimated times of restoration may be delayed until the storm clears the area.’ 

The National Hurricane Center warned oceanside home dwellers to brace for storm surge up to 5 feet and up to 8 inches of rain in spots, as Isaias moves up the coast. 

As the storm neared the shore, a gauge on a pier in Myrtle Beach recorded its third highest water level since it was set up in 1976. Only Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016 pushed more salt water inland. 

The hurricane made landfall just after 11pm on Monday near Wilmington, North Carolina

The hurricane made landfall just after 11pm on Monday near Wilmington, North Carolina

As of 1am local time on Tuesday, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was under a hurricane warning while most of the rest of the East Coast from Georgia up through New England were under a tropical storm warning

As of 1am local time on Tuesday, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was under a hurricane warning while most of the rest of the East Coast from Georgia up through New England were under a tropical storm warning

The red-shaded area shows the likely trajectory of the storm's path. Heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding, and strong winds are forecast for Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, New York, and New England

The red-shaded area shows the likely trajectory of the storm’s path. Heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding, and strong winds are forecast for Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, New York, and New England

Hurricane Isaias is due to hit the Virginia region sometime early on Tuesday before making its way toward the New York metropolitan area on Tuesday evening

Flood alerts are in effect for most of the Eastern Seaboard stretching from South Carolina all the way up toward Maine

Flood alerts are in effect for most of the Eastern Seaboard stretching from South Carolina all the way up toward Maine

Strong wind gusts are being felt along the coast of the Carolinas on Monday as Hurricane Isaias made landfall at around 11:10pm

After making landfall, Isaias turned northeastward and crept up the coast toward Wilmington, North Carolina, just before midnight on Tuesday

After making landfall, Isaias turned northeastward and crept up the coast toward Wilmington, North Carolina, just before midnight on Tuesday

Severe weather is expected to impact much of the East Coast on Tuesday and into early Wednesday morning

Severe weather is expected to impact much of the East Coast on Tuesday and into early Wednesday morning

Coastal cities like Atlantic City, New York, and Boston are expected to see strong wind gusts reaching between 60mph and 75mph

Coastal cities like Atlantic City, New York, and Boston are expected to see strong wind gusts reaching between 60mph and 75mph

Oceanfront streets throughout the area flooded as the sea ended up nearly 10 feet above low tide.

Up the coast in southern North Carolina, high winds from Isaias’ inner core knocked down trees and power lines, blocking roads. No major damage was initially reported.

The Carolinas weren’t the only states at risk.

‘All those rains could produce flash flooding across portions of the eastern Carolinas and mid-Atlantic, and even in the northeast United States,’ said Daniel Brown, senior hurricane specialist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center. 

A tropical storm warning extended all the way up to Maine, where flash flooding was possible in some areas on Wednesday.

Isaias killed two people in the Caribbean and roughed up the Bahamas but remained at sea as it brushed past Florida over the weekend, providing some welcome relief to emergency managers who had to accommodate mask-wearing evacuees in storm shelters.   

People walk across Ocean Boulevard in the rain in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday afternoon

People walk across Ocean Boulevard in the rain in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday afternoon

A young woman rides a bicycle in the rain on Ocean Boulevard hours before Hurricane Isaias made landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday

A young woman rides a bicycle in the rain on Ocean Boulevard hours before Hurricane Isaias made landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday

Waves crash against the Pier at Garden City in Garden City, South Carolina, on Monday afternoon

Waves crash against the Pier at Garden City in Garden City, South Carolina, on Monday afternoon

Friends play in the surf in Garden City, South Carolina, on Monday afternoon as authorities warned of an impending hurricane

Friends play in the surf in Garden City, South Carolina, on Monday afternoon as authorities warned of an impending hurricane

Curious onlookers take photos with their cell phones underneath a pier in Garden City, South Carolina, on Monday

Curious onlookers take photos with their cell phones underneath a pier in Garden City, South Carolina, on Monday

A surfer rides the stormy seas off Garden City, South Carolina, as Hurricane Isaias neared the Carolinas on Monday

A surfer rides the stormy seas off Garden City, South Carolina, as Hurricane Isaias neared the Carolinas on Monday

Shops are boarded up in North Carolina in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Isaias on Monday

Shops are boarded up in North Carolina in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Isaias on Monday

Shops are boarded up in North Carolina in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Isaias on Monday

Shops are boarded up in North Carolina in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Isaias on Monday

The National Hurricane Center also warned of possible tornadoes in North Carolina on Monday night and early Tuesday

Thick clouds and rough surf are seen above at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Monday

Thick clouds and rough surf are seen above at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Monday

RECORDS BROKEN BY ISAIAS SINCE ITS FORMATION 

Isaias is the ninth named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. 

It is the earliest in the year that the US has seen a storm with an ‘I’ name. 

The previous record was set on August 7, 2005. 

Isaias is also the second storm to reach hurricane status in the Atlantic for 2020. 

The average date for the second hurricane is later in the month around August 28. 

The storm’s formation also marked the first time two hurricanes formed during the last week of July. 

President Donald Trump on Monday described Isaias as ‘very serious.’

‘Storm surge and inland flooding are possible and everyone needs to remain vigilant until it passes,’ Trump said.

Authorities in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, ordered swimmers out of the water to avoid rough surf and strong rip currents. 

Still, many people were out enjoying the beach and walking their dogs under overcast skies.

On Pawleys Island, southwest of Myrtle Beach, Terrie Wilson Heffner moved outdoor furniture and potted plants and kept her TV tuned to weather reports. 

A coastal South Carolina resident since 1981, when Hurricane Hugo destroyed her parents’ home, Heffner said she doesn’t leave except for major storms.

‘They don’t really scare me,’ Heffner said, ‘but I have great respect for them.’

Shops and restaurants appeared quieter than usual for a summertime Monday in North Myrtle Beach, but locals blamed COVID-19 more than Isaias. 

No businesses were boarding up their windows, although some moved outside furniture inside.

Wayne Stanley and his family came to the city over the weekend from Julian, North Carolina. 

He’s never experienced a hurricane, but said he never considered canceling his family’s weeklong vacation either.

‘I was pretty scared to start off with,’ Stanley said Monday. ‘Then we thought maybe it´s not going to be that bad.’

Floodwaters on Ocean Boulevard threaten moped rentals in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday night

Floodwaters on Ocean Boulevard threaten moped rentals in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday night

Floodwaters reach above the knees for one woman who ventured out onto Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach on Monday

Floodwaters reach above the knees for one woman who ventured out onto Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach on Monday

Authorities in South Carolina warned of life threatening storm surge caused by Hurricane Isaias, which made landfall just before midnight on Tuesday

Authorities in South Carolina warned of life threatening storm surge caused by Hurricane Isaias, which made landfall just before midnight on Tuesday

The images above show storm surge covering the coastline of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday

The images above show storm surge covering the coastline of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday

The images above show storm surge covering the coastline of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, late on Monday

Storm surge, floods, heavy rains, and downed trees were reported across Myrtle Beach (above) and other nearby towns

Storm surge, floods, heavy rains, and downed trees were reported across Myrtle Beach (above) and other nearby towns

Storm surge, floods, heavy rains, and downed trees were reported across Myrtle Beach (above) and other nearby towns

Storm surge-induced flooding was seen in Ocean Lakes, South Carolina, late Monday as Hurricane Isaias made landfall

Storm surge-induced flooding was seen in Ocean Lakes, South Carolina, late Monday as Hurricane Isaias made landfall

Storm surge-induced flooding was seen in Ocean Lakes, South Carolina, late Monday as Hurricane Isaias made landfall

A resident of Kings Grant, North Carolina, posted a photo showing candles used to light up the home after the power went down

A resident of Kings Grant, North Carolina, posted a photo showing candles used to light up the home after the power went down

People walk at the Garden City Pier in Garden City, South Carolina, on Monday just hours before Isaias made landfall

People walk at the Garden City Pier in Garden City, South Carolina, on Monday just hours before Isaias made landfall

Heavy rains fell on Salem, North Carolina, on Monday afternoon as Hurricane Isaias bore down on the US coastline

Heavy rains fell on Salem, North Carolina, on Monday afternoon as Hurricane Isaias bore down on the US coastline

The image above was taken by a local resident and uploaded to social media on Monday, hours before Isaias was set to make landfall

The image above was taken by a local resident and uploaded to social media on Monday, hours before Isaias was set to make landfall

People play in the ocean as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, North Carolina, on Monday

People play in the ocean as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, North Carolina, on Monday

Beachgoers are caught in a rain shower just hours before Isaias makes landfall in Kure Beach, North Carolina, on Monday

Beachgoers are caught in a rain shower just hours before Isaias makes landfall in Kure Beach, North Carolina, on Monday

A couple looks out over the ocean as Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, North Carolina, on Monday

A couple looks out over the ocean as Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, North Carolina, on Monday

Authorities in the Carolinas were warning bathers to get out of the water due to rough surf and high tides caused by Isaias

Authorities in the Carolinas were warning bathers to get out of the water due to rough surf and high tides caused by Isaias

A man observes the dark clouds and high surf produced by Hurricane Isaias from the balcony of his hotel in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday

A man observes the dark clouds and high surf produced by Hurricane Isaias from the balcony of his hotel in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday

Forecasters expect Hurricane Isaias to turn northeastward after making landfall near the North-South Carolina frontier on Monday

Forecasters expect Hurricane Isaias to turn northeastward after making landfall near the North-South Carolina frontier on Monday

Children play on the beach in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday as Isaias whips up high surf along the coast

Children play on the beach in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday as Isaias whips up high surf along the coast

A man continued to fish on the beach in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday as Isaias made its approach toward the coastline

A man continued to fish on the beach in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday as Isaias made its approach toward the coastline

Winds were expected to grow stronger through the night on Monday and into early Tuesday as Isaias makes landfall

Winds were expected to grow stronger through the night on Monday and into early Tuesday as Isaias makes landfall

Officials in frequently flooded Charleston, South Carolina, handed out sandbags and opened parking garages so residents on the low-lying peninsula could stow their cars above ground.

Though the center of Isaias was expected to pass offshore of Charleston on Monday evening, National Weather Service meteorologists said a major flood is possible if rainfall is heavy when the high tide arrives about 9pm. 

The hurricane center predicted storm surges of 3 to 5 feet in portions of both North and South Carolina.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg told a news conference he didn’t plan a curfew, though city offices were closing early. 

He asked residents to stay home after 6pm when winds are predicted to increase above 40 mph and flooding could be at its worst.

‘It’s a great night, as long as your power is up, to watch a movie or read a book,’ Tecklenburg said. 

‘Just chill out this evening. Stay home and stay safe.’

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned residents on Monday that the storm could be dangerous regardless of its strength. 

He urged those evacuating to turn to shelters as a last resort, citing coronavirus risks and the need to operate shelters at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing.

‘Whether it’s labeled a tropical storm or a hurricane, you should take this storm seriously, and make sure your family is ready,’ Cooper said.

Ferry operators wrapped up evacuations from Ocracoke Island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Monday, moving more than 3,500 people and 1,700 vehicles off the island over four days. 

Island officials were taking no chances after taking a beating less than a year ago from Hurricane Dorian. Evacuation orders have also been issued for Hatteras Island north of Ocracoke.

Morgan Stewart said many evacuating residents had come into the store where she works in the inland community of Kinston to buy tarps, batteries, flashlights and other supplies.

‘You can tell they’re worried,’ said Stewart, who saw cars parked on higher ground over the weekend as she secured her boat at a marina.

Isaias was still a tropical storm at 5pm with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, but it was expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane later Monday, with winds of 74 mph or more. 

The storm was centered about 120 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach on Monday afternoon.

Since forming last week, Isaias has been buffeted by competing forces both trying to kill and strengthen it, said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.

‘Of all the places it could be, it found the warmest water it could,’ which fuels storm development, McNoldy said. 

‘And yet it is struggling.’

Rebecca Nelson and Terry Crabtree arrange boats inside the garage at Downeast Marine in Otway, North Carolina in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Isaias on Monday

Rebecca Nelson and Terry Crabtree arrange boats inside the garage at Downeast Marine in Otway, North Carolina in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Isaias on Monday

Walkers stroll past Cherry Grove pier at dawn in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as Isais moved up the East Coast

Walkers stroll past Cherry Grove pier at dawn in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as Isais moved up the East Coast

Hurricane Isais is moving up the East Coast and is expected to make landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday

Hurricane Isais is moving up the East Coast and is expected to make landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday

Beachcombers look towards the sea at dawn in North Myrtle Beach where a lifeguard stand warns of rip currents on Monday

Beachcombers look towards the sea at dawn in North Myrtle Beach where a lifeguard stand warns of rip currents on Monday

City of North Myrtle Beach workers removes hanging plans on Main Street ahead of Hurricane Isais on Monday

City of North Myrtle Beach workers removes hanging plans on Main Street ahead of Hurricane Isais on Monday

That’s because dry air kept working its way into the storm at low and mid-levels, which chokes storms.

Isaias’ passage near Florida over the weekend was particularly unwelcome to authorities already dealing with surging coronavirus caseloads. 

The storm brought heavy rain and flooding to the state, forcing authorities to close outdoor virus testing sights, as well as beaches and parks. 

Officials lashed signs to palm trees so they wouldn’t blow away.

About 150 people had to keep masks on while sheltering in Palm Beach County, which had a voluntary evacuation order for people living in homes that can’t withstand dangerous winds, said emergency management spokeswoman Lisa De La Rionda.

Connecticut is preparing for the arrival of Isaias, which is expected to bring up to 4 inches of rain in parts of the western half of the state

Connecticut is preparing for the arrival of Isaias, which is expected to bring up to 4 inches of rain in parts of the western half of the state

The coastal area in southern Connecticut could see fierce wind gusts of up to 70mph on Tuesday evening

The coastal area in southern Connecticut could see fierce wind gusts of up to 70mph on Tuesday evening

The coastal areas of the Long Island Sound are likely to see storm surge between 1ft and 3ft beginning Tuesday evening

The coastal areas of the Long Island Sound are likely to see storm surge between 1ft and 3ft beginning Tuesday evening

The New York City tri-state area could also see isolated tornadoes as a result of the storm on Tuesday

The New York City tri-state area could also see isolated tornadoes as a result of the storm on Tuesday

Isaias was blamed for two deaths in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, where it uprooted trees, destroyed crops and homes and caused widespread flooding and small landslides over the weekend. 

The storm snapped trees and knocked out power Saturday in the Bahamas. 

Shelters were opened on Abaco island to help people still living in temporary structures since Dorian devastated the area, killing at least 70 people in September 2019.

Meanwhile, New York City has started preparing for Isaias that could hit the Big Apple with 70mph winds, the strongest since Superstorm Sandy. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city began its preparations on Sunday by implementing flood measures learned from Superstorm Sandy.

Temporary one-mile barriers are being installed from Wall Street to Water Street in Manhattan. Photos showed workers preparing a hydro-dam in the lower Manhattan area to prevent storm surge from Isaias. 

Vents were also placed at the Flatbush Ave and Nostrand Ave entrance of the Flatbush Av/Brooklyn College 2 and 5 train station. 

Rain in New York City is expected to run from 1 to 6pm on Tuesday. 

Lightning illuminates the skies above New York City on Monday night as showers and thunderstorms hit the area a day before the arrival of Isaias

Lightning illuminates the skies above New York City on Monday night as showers and thunderstorms hit the area a day before the arrival of Isaias

Lightning strikes as storms hit New York City on Monday. The image above was taken across the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Monday

Lightning strikes as storms hit New York City on Monday. The image above was taken across the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Monday

Lower Manhattan is seen in the image above as thunderstorms moved across the Hudson River ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Isaias on Monday

Lower Manhattan is seen in the image above as thunderstorms moved across the Hudson River ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Isaias on Monday

New York City has started preparing for Isaias, which is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane as it closes in on the Carolinas before it takes aim at the Northeast. A worker helps prepare a hydro-dam to prevent storm surge in Manhattan on Monday

New York City has started preparing for Isaias, which is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane as it closes in on the Carolinas before it takes aim at the Northeast. A worker helps prepare a hydro-dam to prevent storm surge in Manhattan on Monday 

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Big Apple is preparing for the storm by implementing flood measures learned from Superstorm Sandy. Temporary one-mile barriers (pictured) are being installed from Wall Street to Water Street in Manhattan

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Big Apple is preparing for the storm by implementing flood measures learned from Superstorm Sandy. Temporary one-mile barriers (pictured) are being installed from Wall Street to Water Street in Manhattan

Photos showed workers preparing a hydro-dam in the lower Manhattan area to prevent storm surge from Isaias

Photos showed workers preparing a hydro-dam in the lower Manhattan area to prevent storm surge from Isaias

Rain in New York City is expected to run from 1 to 6pm on Tuesday. The city also expects winds of 35 to 45mph for two to three hours with some gusts at 60mph

Rain in New York City is expected to run from 1 to 6pm on Tuesday. The city also expects winds of 35 to 45mph for two to three hours with some gusts at 60mph

Workers erect temporary flood barriers in the South Street Seaport neighborhood in preparation for potential flooding and a storm surge from Isaias

Workers erect temporary flood barriers in the South Street Seaport neighborhood in preparation for potential flooding and a storm surge from Isaias

Temporary sidewalk vent covers have been put in place in preparation of Hurricane Isaias in Manhattan

Temporary sidewalk vent covers have been put in place in preparation of Hurricane Isaias in Manhattan 

The vents were put in place at the Flatbush Ave and Nostrand Ave entrance of the Flatbush Av/Brooklyn College 2 and 5 subway station

The vents were put in place at the Flatbush Ave and Nostrand Ave entrance of the Flatbush Av/Brooklyn College 2 and 5 subway station

The vents were put in place at the Flatbush Ave and Nostrand Ave entrance of the Flatbush Av/Brooklyn College 2 and 5 subway station

Forecasters have warned that New York City, which is still grappling from the impact of COVID-19, could see some of the strongest wind gusts since Superstorm Sandy. 

According to the National Weather Service, winds of up to 70mph are forecast for New York City on Tuesday. 

On October 29, 2012, the peak wind gust at John F. Kennedy International Airport was 69mph during Superstorm Sandy. 

Meteorologist Ross Dickman told CNN that ‘the wind and flooding impacts from Isaias will be similar to what the city has seen from some of the strongest coastal storms, but we haven’t seen one this strong in many years’.

On top of dealing with a storm, New York City is still reeling from the impact of COVID-19. The city was once the epicenter for the virus, but last month it successfully entered the final phase of reopening.  

City officials have asked restaurants to take precautions since most are operating with outdoor seating due to the coronavirus. Indoor dining is still prohibited in New York City. 

Maryland Gov Larry Hogan said Monday that the state will be suspending its COVID-19 testing on Tuesday due to the storm. 

So far, 13 state and local testing sites will be closed, according to the Maryland Department of Health.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for southern Maryland and nearby waters, according to the NWS.

About 100 million people are in the storm’s path, which stretches 1,500 miles from Florida to Maine.  

HOW EAST COAST STATES ARE PLANNING FOR ISAIAS

People swim in the ocean as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, North Carolina, on Monday

People swim in the ocean as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, North Carolina, on Monday

North and South Carolina

Hurricane Isaias, which had briefly weakened to a tropical storm, poses an immediate threat to a stretch of coastline that includes the South Carolina tourist resort of Myrtle Beach and the North Carolina port city of Wilmington. 

In a warning to the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center said: ‘Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.’

While a few local officials on the coast ordered evacuations, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also warned of inland flooding, as occurred with 2018’s Hurricane Florence, which killed 40 people and caused $17 billion in damage in the state.

‘North Carolinians have had to dig deep in recent months to tap into our strength and resilience during the pandemic…but we have to dig a little deeper. Let’s keep each other safe from the wind and water, as well as from the virus,’ Cooper said.

Hattaras Island, a barrier island popular with tourists, was nearly deserted on Monday after officials ordered visitors and residents to leave, but some ignored the warnings.

Authorities in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, ordered swimmers out of the water to avoid rough surf and strong rip currents. 

By sundown, power began to flicker at beachfront hotels as Isaias crossed the last bit of warm water in its path as it headed for the US mainland.

Officials in frequently flooded Charleston, South Carolina, handed out sandbags and opened parking garages so residents on the low-lying peninsula could stow their cars above ground. 

Virginia

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Isaias, which is expected to begin impacting the state’s coast on Monday night into Tuesday morning. 

The Virginia National Guard said it was mobilizing about 40 members for state emergency support duty in the Eastern Shore area. 

Potential missions included high-water transportation using Humvees and light-to-medium tactical trucks, and clearing debris with chainsaws. 

‘It is very important that we get our personnel and equipment staged and ready at the right locations before the severe weather hits so we are able to rapidly respond if needed,’ Brig. Gen. James Ring, Virginia National Guard director of the joint staff, said. 

Residents of Virginia Beach loaded 100 tons of sand into sandbags. The sand was left over from the winter when it wasn’t needed for icy roads, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Officials in the cities of Hampton Roads and Newport News opened parking garages for residents who want to park their vehicles on higher ground. 

Neither city planned to open shelters as of Monday afternoon. 

People fill sandbags in preparation for Tuesday's impending Hurricane Isaias on Monday at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex

People fill sandbags in preparation for Tuesday’s impending Hurricane Isaias on Monday at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex

Maryland 

Meteorologists expect Isaias to dump at least 6 inches of rain, with some parts of Maryland possibly getting more.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Anne Arundel County as well as the Baltimore area, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore. 

A flash flood watch is also in effect for Anne Arundel County through 11pm on Tuesday and a coastal flood watch is in effect until Wednesday at midnight. 

High tide in Annapolis comes just before 7pm. 

Governor Larry Hogan said that a ‘government-wide response’ has been initiated to help prepare for the storm. 

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency has activated an ‘enhanced’ level to allow for increased coordination between agencies and the weather service, and the Maryland State Police are on standby to respond, if necessary.

All coronavirus testing conducted by the Maryland Department of Health will be suspended on Tuesday.

‘Our state is taking every precaution to prepare for the effects of Tropical Storm Isaias – which could include heavy rain, damaging winds, and flash flooding – and I urge all Marylanders to do the same,’ Hogan said on Monday night. 

‘Stay tuned to your local news stations for the latest updates, listen to state and local authorities, and most importantly, plan and prepare.’

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works announced that it was suspending trash pick up for Tuesday. Instead it will collect the trash on Saturday.

The District of Columbia 

Washington, DC, is under a tropical storm warning in anticipation of Hurricane Isaias.

The nation’s capital is likely to see between 3 and 6 inches of rain. 

The heaviest rainfall is likely to start before dawn on Tuesday and may last through the mid-afternoon.

The Washington-Baltimore corridor is forecast to experience wind gusts of up to 50mph. Utility workers are preparing for the possibility of fallen trees and downed power lines.

Meteorologists expect even stronger wind gusts of up to 65mph further east, where Isaias is likely to track. This area encompasses Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis, and Southern Maryland. 

Dark clouds and heavy rain sweep over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, on Monday hours before Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in the Carolinas

Dark clouds and heavy rain sweep over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, on Monday hours before Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in the Carolinas

Delaware

As Hurricane Isaias approaches Delaware, residents are urged to prepare for dangerous winds over 55 miles per hour and up to 6 inches of rain. 

Storm surges, localized flooding, tree damage, power outages, and other threats to life and property are possible, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). 

Rain is expected starting on Monday evening, with the brunt of the storm arriving early on Tuesday.

The hurricane is expected to hit Delaware on Tuesday morning. 

The local government is warning residents of damage to porches, carports and other awnings, as well as roofing and siding, with impacts on mobile homes more significant. 

NWS expects uprooted or snapped trees in addition to flooding, causing impassable roadways and power outages in some places. 

Storm surges are likely, and tornadoes are possible.

The entire state of Delaware is under a tropical storm warning.

Severe wind gusts of up to 70mph are forecast for the coastal towns of Ocean City, Maryland; and Bethany and Rehoboth in Delaware on Tuesday.    

New Jersey 

The National Weather Service on Monday placed New Jersey under a tropical storm warning as Isaias makes its way northward.

The NWS said 3 to 5 inches of rain is likely to fall in most areas of the Garden State, though higher totals are possible.

The warning means tropical storm-force winds are expected within the next 24 hours.

There is the potential in New Jersey for winds of 45 to 55 mph with gusts to 75 mph from Tuesday morning into Tuesday evening, forecasters said. 

Those winds could down trees and power lines.

The storm was packing heavy rain that could cause moderate flooding in parts of the state.

Forecasters said a storm surge could cause problems until Wednesday morning mainly along the shoreline and in low-lying areas.

Swimmers need to be cautious because Isaias was whipping up the waves and causing strong rip currents. Moderate beach erosion was expected.

‘The primary concern with Isaias remains heavy rain leading to flash flooding. Some river flooding is possible but is not expected along the main stem of the Delaware River,’ the National Weather Service said in its advisory. 

New York

Hurricane Isaias is expected to weaken as it moves towards New York City, but forecasters say that wind gusts could still reach 70mph when it arrives in the Tri-State Area sometime on Tuesday morning.

That’s the strongest wind seen in the region since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. 

The city put up storm barriers to protect its famed South Street Seaport as officials warned of heavy rain and flooding.

Meanwhile, commuter train service to and from Connecticut is being reduced in anticipation of Isaias’ arrival on Tuesday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said forecast models show the Seaport section of Lower Manhattan getting the worst of the storm and that the temporary barriers being installed on Monday along that stretch of the East River will protect its cobblestone streets and historic structures from what’s projected to be up to 2 feet of storm surge. 

All city beaches will be closed to swimming, though surfing will be allowed in some areas. No lifeguards will be on duty, but parks department staff will be patrolling the coastline for scofflaw swimmers.

Metro-North will operate its commuter trains on a weekend schedule Tuesday with hourly service on most lines, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said. 

Trains will run every two hours on the northern end of the Harlem Line in New York and every three hours on the Danbury branch in Connecticut. 

New England

Eversource, the power company that serves customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, said in a statement on Sunday that it is closely monitoring Isaias’ path and will have extra crews on hand. 

The company said it has been working under a Covid-19 pandemic plan since March, and its safety measures would also apply during a major storm response. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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