Isaias unleashes floods and tornadoes as it pummels the Atlantic coast

Isaias pounded the Atlantic Coast on Tuesday with ferocious wind and driving rain, flooding communities, knocking out power for millions and spawning a series of tornadoes along its path.

>> Michael Venutolo-Mantovani and Rick RojasThe New York Times
Published : 5 August 2020, 03:12 AM
Updated : 5 August 2020, 03:12 AM

Although it quickly weakened to a tropical storm, Isaias made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane and maintained a punishing level of power as it raked over the Eastern Seaboard, forcing a swath of the country — from the Carolinas to the Northeast — to grapple with its devastation.

In North Carolina, one tornado killed at least two people as it eviscerated a rural patch of roughly a dozen mobile homes, leaving only two standing. “The rest of them is pretty much gone,” Bertie County Sheriff John Holley told a local television station.

“It don’t look real,” he said. “It’s sad and it’s hard.”

Officials throughout the storm’s path declared states of emergency and urged residents to stay out of harm’s way, underscoring the multitude of perils lingering in the storm’s wake.

A woman in St Mary’s County, Maryland, was killed after a tree fell and crushed her vehicle as she drove; the authorities said it took several hours to remove the woman’s body from the wreckage. At least one other person was killed under similar circumstances in Queens, officials said, after the storm swept into New York City.

More than 3 million utility customers along the storm’s path in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York were without power Tuesday night, according to Poweroutage.us, a website that tracks and aggregates reports from utilities.

Because the projected path of the storm, which was approaching Canada on Tuesday night, had shifted slightly westward, New York City and the surrounding areas got a slight reprieve from the heaviest expected rainfall. Tropical storm warnings reached as far up the Atlantic Coast as Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, and a tornado watch was in effect throughout the day for New York City, Long Island, much of New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Forecasters warned of the possibility of flash floods across much of the Mid-Atlantic region by Tuesday evening, with “potentially life-threatening urban flooding” possible in Washington, DC, Baltimore and other cities along and just west of Interstate 95, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

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