Isaias makes landfalls after it strengthens into a hurricane

Isaias Track

Isaias weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm Saturday, but strengthened as expected Monday will likely bring heavy rain and flooding along the East Coast this week.

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

Isaias is the ninth named storm of the year and the latest National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast says the storm is "getting better organised" and will likely be at hurricane strength when it reaches the coast this evening.

Staten Island beaches will be closed for swimming on Tuesday as Tropical Storm Isaias is slated to unleash heavy rain and wind on the borough.

A storm surge warning was posted for a 180-mile stretch of the coastline from Folly Beach, South Carolina, north to Cape Fear, North Carolina.

"We expect impacts (heavy rain, wind, unsafe seas) to begin Tuesday into Wednesday", the National Weather Service said.

Isaias claimed two lives in the Caribbean and blew through the Bahamas, but stayed out to sea as it brushed past Florida over the weekend. The center of Isaias remained well offshore as it passed Georgia's coast on Monday. The storm was centered about 120 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach on Monday afternoon.

President Donald Trump announced he had issued emergency declarations for Florida and both Carolinas, to free up federal funds. Unfortunately, the highest rainfall totals from Isaias will be north and west. 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. Make sure you have a way to receive weather warnings! Fogarty said that may amount to about an hour of heavy showers at most.

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

The governor said hurricane-force winds are not expected in NY, but there is a strong chance for flooding as the storm is expected to dump as many as 4 inches of rain in some parts of the state. "Let's keep each other safe from the wind and water, as well as from the virus", Cooper said.

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