Tropical Storm Isaias Leaves Destruction Along East Coast
UNITED STATES—August 4, 2020—Hurricane Isaias made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 around 11 p.m. on August 3, causing flooding, widespread power outages, storm-caused fires, and multiple tornados. At least five people were killed, and many more injured. Tropical Storm Isaias ravaged the Northeast coast Tuesday night and early into the morning on Wednesday. Wind gusts reached up to 75 mph in some areas. More than 3 million locations were without power on Wednesday morning.
Isaias was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone on Wednesday as it reached Quebec. With sustained winds in the 35-50 mph range, the storm continues to cause heavy rain, flooding, and power outages. Isaias is expected to dissipate by Thursday.
Tropical Storm Isaias Strengthening on Track to Carolinas
UNITED STATES—August 3, 2020—A hurricane warning has been issued for parts of North and South Carolina as Tropical Storm Isaias aims for the coast. After tracking along the east coast of Florida over the weekend, Isaias is expected to reach hurricane strength again before it reaches the Carolinas Monday night, according to CNN.
Forecasters predict Tropical Storm Isaias will bring storm surge of 3 to 5 feet, 70 mph winds, heavy rain, and dangerous surf. Affected areas could experience downed trees, loss of power, isolated tornados, and flash flooding as the storm moves inland. A storm surge warning has been issued for Charleston and Colleton counties in South Carolina, and mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the Outer Banks communities of Ocracoke Island and Hatteras Island, as well as Ocean Isle and Holden Beach, according to CNN. Tropical storm warnings have been issued from Delaware to Rhode Island, where high winds and heavy rain is expected in the coming days as the storm moves up the coast.
CNN reports the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) will be implementing new COVID-19 emergency response protocols, including screening people before entering busses or shelters, providing PPE, limiting passengers on busses (which will require more trips), and setting up socially distanced shelters with isolation areas for anyone who is symptomatic.
Tropical Storm Isaias Threatens Bahamas, Florida
MIAMI, Fla.—July 30, 2020— Tropical Storm Isaias, the earliest ninth named storm on record for the Atlantic season, is gathering steam as it tracks toward the Bahamas and the east coast of Florida. Isaias is expected to become a hurricane sometime Friday, but the precise strength and track of the storm is still unclear, according to CNN. Current models show Isaias striking Grand Bahama Island, which was hard-hit by Hurricane Dorian last year, before tracking just off the coast of Florida toward the Carolinas.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for parts of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas, and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Florida’s east coast. The strength of Isaias depends on its precise track; interaction with more islands will weaken the storm, but a track over mostly water will intensify it. Even if the Isaias does not make landfall in Florida, forecasters expect tropical storm conditions to affect the coast, including high wind, heavy rain, and dangerous surf. According to CNN, rainfall is currently the biggest concern for affected areas with 3 to 6 inches expected in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and 4 to 8 inches in the Bahamas. The rain may cause flash flooding and mudslides.
In preparation for Tropical Storm Isasis, Florida began closing COVID-19 testing sites along the east coast. Florida is currently one of the country’s primary hot spots for the pandemic, so the prospect of possible evacuations due to a hurricane has state officials worried. It will be challenging to maintain social distancing during evacuation protocols and in hurricane shelters, but Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez points out that a hurricane poses a more immediate threat, so “getting people out of harm’s way” would take precedence over virus transmission concerns, according to CNN.