Tropical Storm Isaias Spawns Tornadoes, Leaves Thousands Without Power in Carolinas

August 4, 2020

After bringing heavy rain and flooding to Florida over the weekend, Tropical Storm Isaias began its attacking up the Southeast coast Monday, killing at least one person after a tornado it spawned obliterated a mobile home park in North Carolina.

Reuters reported Tuesday that the fast-moving storm knocked out power to hundreds of thousands and threatened to trigger more tornadoes, with the center of the storm about 100 miles (160 km) south of Washington as of 8 a.m. Eastern time (1200 GMT), the National Hurricane Center said.

More than 600,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and Virginia were without power, according to electric companies, Reuters said.

The storm had regained hurricane strength late on Monday just before making landfall in southern North Carolina shortly before midnight. North Carolina Emergency Management reported on Twitter that three tornadoes affected the eastern part of the state, where damage was observed in Brunswick, Bertie and Hertford Counties. More details will be available after the NWS gathers and compiles data.

Gov. Roy Cooper and emergency officials were expected to hold a press conference on the storm at 3 pm EST today, the agency said.

Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm while flooding homes and streets in North Carolina, killing one person and injuring several others in a mobile home park, officials told local media.

News pictures showed a field of debris where the mobile home park once stood in Bertie County in the northeastern corner of North Carolina.

Three or four people were missing, and at least two of them were children, WITN television reported, citing Sheriff John Holley. Some 10 to 12 mobile homes were destroyed and vehicles were tossed atop each other, the sheriff said.

Cooper declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm and said North Carolina had received a federal emergency declaration for 25 counties so far.

According to the Associated Press, the storm weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm on Saturday afternoon, and its most damaging winds remained offshore, sparing Florida from major problems.

Upper-level winds later sapped much of the storm’s strength, said Stacy Stewart, senior hurricane specialist at the hurricane center in Miami.

“We were expecting a hurricane to develop and it didn’t,” Stewart said Sunday. “It’s a tale of two storms. If you live on the west side of the storm, you didn’t get much. If you live east of the storm, there’s a lot of nasty weather there.”

Associated Press reporters Wilfredo Lee and Danico Coto, and Reuters reporter Daniel Trotta contributed to this report

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