Tropical Storm Isaias spawned deadly tornadoes and dumped heavy rain as it roared up the East Coast on Tuesday afternoon after making landfall as a hurricane Monday night near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.
At least four people have died due to the storm.
A tornado killed two people and injured several others at a mobile home park in Bertie County, North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper said. Authorities said two others were killed by falling trees toppled by the storm in Maryland and New York City.
Other tornadoes were also reported in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said.
What was once Hurricane Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm, though it still packed winds of 65 mph as of mid-afternoon Tuesday. The National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. ET advisory that tornadoes are most likely across northern New Jersey and southeastern New York, through southern New England, by late afternoon. A risk for tornadoes may continue across northern New England through this evening.
The center also warned that “potentially life-threatening urban flooding remains possible in Philadelphia and elsewhere along and just west of the I-95 corridor today.”
More than 2.6 million customers were without power, mostly in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, according to poweroutage.us.
Here’s what you need to know:
- At 2 p.m, the center of Isaias was located about 65 miles west of New York City. The storm was racing to the north-northeast at 40 mph.
- The system is forecast to become post-tropical tonight or early Wednesday.
- The center of Isaias is moving toward the Northeast after making landfall around 11:10 p.m. near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.
- What’s it like out there? These live webcams show beaches in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. 🌊
- The next advisory from the National Hurricane Center will be released at 5 p.m.
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New Jersey: 1 million with no power; tropical storm warning in effect
Heavy rains were falling Tuesday across New Jersey as Tropical Storm Isaias roared to the north, leaving behind power outages and reports of tornadoes.
Over 1 million customers were without power, poweroutage.us said, by far the highest total of any state.
The storm was disrupting ground travel across the state at midday. New Jersey Transit’s River Line and Atlantic City rail service was suspended or delayed in some areas due to downed trees and flooding, and trees blocked lanes on the Garden State Parkway in Upper Township and the New Jersey Turnpike in Edison.
There was one report of a tornado, in Cape May, where some trees were knocked down.
Earlier, Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency. The state is under a tropical storm warning.
Heavy rainfall up to 6 inches was forecast to impact the state along with damaging winds and more possible tornadoes.
A tornado watch was also issued Tuesday morning that covered most of the state and will last through 4 p.m. this afternoon. A watch, which is less urgent than a warning, means that conditions will be favorable for the development of tornadoes, according to the weather service.
– Nicholas Katzban, Bergen Record; Joshua Chung and Keith Schubert, Asbury Park Press
Airlines issue flight waivers
Traveling? If it’s by plane, odds are good your airline is issuing flight waivers. United, American, Southwest, JetBlue and Delta have issued them in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias.
A flight waiver gives travelers the option to rebook flights at no extra charge. There are typically terms and conditions, however, that prevent customers from buying flights outside of certain dates and from changing cabins unless they want to pay a fee. Travelers are urged to read airlines’ fine print before rebooking.
– David Oliver
New York City under a tornado watch
New York City major Bill de Blasio said there was a “threat of tornadoes” for New York City Tuesday due to Tropical Storm Isaias. The entire metro area is under a tornado watch until 4 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. A tornado watch means conditions are ripe for tornadoes to form.
The city is also under a tropical storm warning and a flash flood watch, the weather service said. High winds from the storm are likely across the city throughout the afternoon.
In addition, the city’s emergency management agency tweeted Tuesday that “due to Tropical Storm Isaias, swimming and wading are not permitted at all NYC beaches until 8/5.”
Isaias was a hurricane: Why do tropical weather systems cause tornadoes?
At least two tornadoes confirmed on Maryland Eastern Shore
At least two radar-confirmed tornadoes were reported on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, according to the National Weather Service.
The first was located at 6:01 a.m. near Vienna moving north near Sharptown, Hurlock and Choptank. Social media reports indicate the tornado littered Route 50 with debris and caused damage in Mardela Springs, with photos posted to Facebook showing at least one home destroyed.
A second tornado was located on radar at 7:20 a.m. just north of Girdletree heading toward Snow Hill.
Chesapeake Bay: What to expect if Isaias continues track over it
– Brandon Holveck, Delaware News Journal
More tornadoes possible as Isaias tracks north
Tornadoes are most likely through midday from southeast Virginia all the way to New Jersey, according to the 8 a.m. hurricane center forecast. Tornadoes will remain possible this afternoon and evening from southeast New York across New England.
Wicomico and Worcester counties in Maryland as well as northern Accomack County in Virginia were under a tornado warning until 7:30 a.m. Residents were warned to take shelter.
The National Weather Service advisory said severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located at 7:03 a.m. about 15 miles southeast of Pocomoke City, moving north at 65 mph. A tornado watch is in effect until noon, and at least one radar-confirmed tornado has already passed through the area, according to the NWS.
– Rose Velazquez, Salisbury (Md.) Daily Times
D.C., Baltimore could see flooding
Heavy rainfall along the East Coast will result in flash and urban flooding, some of which may be significant in North Carolina through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast through tonight, the hurricane center said. Central and eastern North Carolina are expected to see the heaviest rainfall of 3 to 6 inches, with some areas seeing up to 8 inches. Potentially life-threatening urban flooding is possible in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and other areas along the I-95 corridor.
On Monday, ferry operators wrapped up evacuations from Ocracoke Island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, 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 were also issued for Hatteras Island north of Okracoke.
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.
Contributing: Jordan Culver, USA TODAY; Associated Press