Hurricane Isaias lashes US east coast, killing at least 1
Washington, Aug 4 (efe-epa).- Tropical Storm Isaias, which made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane Monday night in North Carolina, is continuing its northward trek on Tuesday after being downgraded in its intensity, albeit leaving at least one person dead and several injured – along with fires, flooding, power blackouts and tornadoes – in its wake.
The storm, packing winds of 145 kilometers per hour (90 mph) when it made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, brought with it at least one devastating tornado that wreaked havoc in a mobile home park in Bertie County, where one person died and several remain missing on Tuesday morning, local police reported.
Isaias, which has fluctuated in intensity between being a tropical storm and a Category 1 hurricane, also brought a storm surge with it that flooded Myrtle Beach, and meteorologists said that it will bring torrential rain, strong winds and tornadoes to coastal areas from Virginia all the way north to Maine.
The most recent NHC bulletin, issued at 11 am on Tuesday, placed the eye of the storm at latitude 39.1 north longitude 79.1 west, that is, over western Maryland, with sustained winds of 110 kph (70 mph) and moving to the north-northeast at 56 kph (35 mph).
The changes made in the latest advisory included the following: a discontinuation of the Tropical Storm Warning south of Duck, North Carolina, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, and a discontinuation of the Storm Surge Warning.
Local residents were advised, however, to continue to pay attention to local advisories.
Meteorologists expect that the winds will continue to affect portions of Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday afternoon, downing trees and power poles, with similar conditions continuing through the night as Isaias moves up the Mid-Atlantic coast toward New England.
Rains of 75-140 millimeters (3 to 5.5 inches) are expected in the Mid-Atlantic coastal area and alerts for possible tornadoes have been issued for a large part of the Delmarva Peninsula, southern New Jersey, eastern Maryland and eastern Virginia.
Due to the storm, more than half a million homes and businesses are without electricity in North Carolina and Virginia, according to PowerOutage.us, an agency that compiles data about public services.
A blackout forced operators of a nuclear power plant located in the path of the hurricane in North Carolina’s Brunswick County to declare an “unusual event due to a loss of offsite power” at one of its facilities on Monday night.
One source, however, told CBS News that there had been no impact on public health or plant personnel from the outage, adding that the event was of “minimal” importance and all safety and security systems operated as they were designed to do.
On Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service office in Wakefield, Virginia, posted a message on Twitter in which it noted the formation of a large and “extremely dangerous” tornado that was moving toward the city of Norfolk.
Shortly before dawn, the same office said that radar monitoring had confirmed the presence of another tornado near Kilmarnock, while yet another twister was confirmed near Vienna, Maryland, farther to the north.