At least eight people were killed as Tropical Storm Isaias battered the U.S. East Coast with rain and fierce winds after making landfall as a hurricane in North Carolina. Millions of people were without power on Wednesday after felled trees downed power lines.
Two people died when Isaias spun off a tornado that struck a North Carolina mobile home park.
Isaias sustained top winds of up to 65 mph (105 kph) more than 18 hours after coming ashore, but it was down to 40 mph max winds as of early Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. On Thursday, North Carolina Emergency Management tweeted the primary storm impacts included damaging wind gusts, dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning and isolated flooding. The possibility for severe afternoon thunderstorms will continue Friday. It added all of North Carolina is under a marginal risk for flash flooding.
The North Carolina National Guard was assisting with Oak Island storm response efforts.
Isaias toggled between hurricane and tropical storm strength as it churned toward the East Coast. Fueled by warm ocean waters, the storm got a late burst of strength as a rejuvenated hurricane with top sustained winds of 85 mph (136 km/h) before coming ashore late Monday near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. Its tropical storm status was sustained, but weakened, as it headed north into Canada on Tuesday night.
Before making landfall late Monday, Isaias killed two people in the Caribbean and battered the Bahamas before brushing past Florida.
Some of the worst damage seemed to be east and north of where the hurricane’s eye struck land in North Carolina.
“Fortunately, this storm was fast-moving and has already left our state,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday.
Morgan reported from North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Bryan Anderson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.”
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