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Tuesday, August 4th

Tropical Storm Isaias drives wild weather up Interstate 95

By BRYAN ANDERSON and SARAH BLAKE MORGAN Associated Press

Boats are piled on each other at the Southport Marina following the effects of Hurricane Isaias in Southport, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

WINDSOR, N.C. (AP) - Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain along the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday after making landfall as a hurricane in North Carolina, where it smashed boats together and caused floods and fires that displaced dozens of people. At least two people were killed when one of its twisters hit a mobile home park.

More than 12 hours after coming ashore, Isaias still had sustained top winds of 65 mph (105 kph). At 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, the storm's center was about 65 miles (105 km) west of New York City, where winds forced the Staten Island ferry and outdoor subway lines to shut down.

As Isaias sped northward at 40 mph (56 kph), the National Hurricane Center warned of potentially life-threatening flooding around Philadelphia and other points along the I-95 corridor.

Two people died and about 20 were injured after a tornado "totally demolished" several mobile homes in Windsor, North Carolina, said Juan Vaughan II, county manager for Bertie County. Three people were unaccounted for, authorities said.

"We're still in active searches going on right now," Vaughan said. "We really want to make sure everyone is found safe as soon as possible."

A man walks past a damaged house with a chainsaw in the Riverview neighborhood of Suffolk, Va., after Hurricane Isaias moved through the region Tuesday, August 4, 2020. (Jonathon Gruenke/The Daily Press via AP)

An aerial shot by WRAL-TV showed fields of debris where rescue workers in brightly colored shirts picked through splintered boards and other wreckage. Nearby, a vehicle was flipped onto its roof, its tires pointed up in the air.

"It doesn't look real; it looks like something on TV. Nothing is there," Bertie County Sheriff John Holley told reporters, saying 10 mobile homes had been destroyed. "All my officers are down there at this time. Pretty much the entire trailer park is gone."

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.

Many homes flooded in Ocean Isle Beach, and at least five caught fire, Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT-TV.

Oak Island sustained wind and flood damage caused by Hurricane Isaias leaving the streets strewn with debris and covered with more than a foot of sand in areas close to the beach Tuesday, August 4, 2020, in North Carolina. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)

In this photo provided by the Horry County Frie Rescue, multiple structure fires burn Aug. 4. 2020, in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. Hurricane Isaias sparked five home fires in town, Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT-TV. (Horry County Fire Rescue via AP)

Before making landfall late Monday, Isaias killed two people in the Caribbean and battered the Bahamas before brushing past Florida. On Tuesday, forecasters expected it to remain a tropical storm on a path into New England.

"We don't think there is going to be a whole lot of weakening. We still think there's going to be very strong and gusty winds that will affect much of the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast over the next day or two," hurricane specialist Robbie Berg told The AP.

Tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. Power outages also spread as trees fell, with more than 1.2 million customers losing electricity, most of them in New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks utility reports.

In Suffolk, Virginia, near the coast, multiple homes were damaged by falling trees and city officials received reports of a possible tornado. A fire station sustained damage including a broken window.

Debris covers the sidewalk in Southport, N.C. as hurricane Isaias moved through North Carolina early Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (WECT-TV via AP)

In Charles County, Maryland, emergency workers rescued a man and woman after floodwaters swept two cars off the road. The woman was found clinging to a tree limb and the man was on the roof of the car, said Bill Smith, a county fire department spokesman.

Other motorists had to be rescued as roads suddenly flooded in the Philadelphia area. The threat of heavy wind and rain prompted the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway to ban car-pulled trailers and motorcycles.

Most of the significant damage Tuesday seemed to be east and north of where the hurricane's eye struck land in North Carolina.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that Brunswick, Pender and Onslow counties along the state's southeast coast were among the hardest hit with storm surge, structure fires and reports of tornadoes.

Deputies on North Carolina's Oak Island had to rescue five adults and three children after the storm hit, causing damage along the beachfront and knocking electricity and sewer facilities offline, authorities said.

The private Sea Cabins pier is seen damaged following Hurricane Isaias, in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

People walk Cherry Grove Point at dawn looking at debris scattered by Hurricane Isaias in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

In North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the storm sent waves crashing over the Sea Cabin Pier late Monday, causing a big section to collapse into the water as startled bystanders taking photos from the pier scrambled back to land.

"I'm shocked it's still standing," said Dean Burris, who watched from the balcony of a vacation rental.

The Hurricane Center had warned oceanside dwellers near the North Carolina-South Carolina state line to brace for storm surge up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) and up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain.

Eileen and David Hubler were out early Tuesday cleaning up in North Myrtle Beach, where 4 feet (1.2 meters) of storm surge flooded cars, unhinged docks and etched a water line into the side of their home.

"When the water started coming, it did not stop," Eileen Hubler said. They had moved most items of value to their second floor, but a mattress and washing machine were unexpected storm casualties.

"We keep thinking we've learned our lesson," she said. "And each time there's a hurricane, we learn a new lesson."

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Morgan reported from North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Associated Press contributors include science writer Seth Borenstein in Kensington, Maryland; Gerry Broome in Southport, North Carolina; Jonathan Drew in Durham, North Carolina; Michelle Liu in Columbia, South Carolina; Michael Kunzelman in College Park, Maryland; Bruce Shipkowski in Toms River, New Jersey; Shawn Marsh in Trenton, New Jersey; and Michael Sisak in New York.

___

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."

People walk on the flooded Sea Mountain Highway in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., as Isaias neared the Carolinas on Monday night, Aug. 3, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

A car is driven along water-covered Sea Mountain Highway in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., as Isaias neared the Carolinas on Monday night, Aug. 3, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

In this photo provided by the Horry County Frie Rescue, multiple structure fires burn Aug. 4. 2020, in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. Hurricane Isaias sparked five home fires in town, Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT-TV. (Horry County Fire Rescue via AP)

A bell tower toppled outside of Southport Baptist Church in Southport, N.C. as hurricane Isaias moved through North Carolina on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (WECT-TV via AP)

Terry Crabtree finishes boarding up the entrance to Downeast Marine in Otway, N.C. as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (Julia Wall/The News & Observer via AP)

Rebecca Nelson, left, and Terry Crabtree, right, arrange boats inside the garage at Downeast Marine in Otway, N.C. in preparation for the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaias on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (Julia Wall/The News & Observer via AP)

Walkers stroll past Cherry Grove pier at dawn in North Myrtle Beach. Tropical Storm Isais is moving up the east coast and is expected to make landfall near Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

Tropical Storm Isais is moving up the east coast and is expected to make landfall near Myrtle Beach on Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

Beachcombers look towards the sea at dawn in North Myrtle Beach where a lifeguard stand warns of rip currents. Tropical Storm Isais is moving up the east coast and is expected to make landfall near Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

City of North Myrtle Beach workers removes hanging plans on Main Street ahead of Tropical Storm Isais. The storm is moving up the east coast and is expected to make landfall near Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

City of North Myrtle Beach workers removes hanging plans on Main Street ahead of Tropical Storm Isais. The storm is moving up the east coast and is expected to make landfall near Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

Michael Bledsoe, far left, sells sandbags as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Wilmington, N.C., Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Michael Bledsoe sells sandbags as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Wilmington, N.C., Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A couple looks out over the ocean as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, N.C., Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

People are caught in a rain shower as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, N.C., Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

People play in the ocean as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, N.C., Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

People swim in the ocean as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, N.C., Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

People walk at the Garden City (S.C.) Pier on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, as Isaias neared the Carolinas. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

People play along the beach as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches in Kure Beach, N.C., Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A woman holds her cat inside her condo in Garden City, S.C., as Isaias approached the Carolinas on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

People walk on the beach in Garden City, S.C., as Isaias approached the Carolinas on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

People take photos from the pier at Garden City, S.C., Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, as Isaias neared the Carolinas. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

People walk on the beach in Garden City, S.C., as Isaias approached the Carolinas on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

Friends play in the surf in Garden City, S.C., Monday afternoon, Aug. 3, 2020., as Isaias neared the Carolinas. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

A broken tree lays on a structure in Poquoson, Va., after Tropical Storm Isaias brought dangerous winds and heavy rain over eastern Virginia early Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, after making landfall as a hurricane near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. (WVEC-TV via AP)

Branches litter the ground in Suffolk, Va., after Tropical Storm Isaias brought dangerous winds and heavy rain over eastern Virginia early Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, after making landfall as a hurricane near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. (WVEC-TV via AP)

A person walks along the shoreline as a earthmover prepares sand along the beach Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Atlantic City, N.J. Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain during an inland march up the U.S. East Coast, including New Jersey, on Tuesday after making landfall as a hurricane along the North Carolina coast. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Boats are piled on each other at the Southport Marina following the effects of Hurricane Isaias in Southport, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Residents survey the damages along the waterfront following the effects of Hurricane Isaias in Southport, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Residents begin to clean up following the effects of Hurricane Isaias in Southport, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A pier shows damages following the effects of Hurricane Isaias in Southport, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Royce Potter, a fifth generation seafood farmer, suveys the damage to his fishing vessel following the effects of Hurricane Isaias in Southport, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Potter spent the night on his docked boat. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Residents survey the damage following the effects of Hurricane Isaias in Southport, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

People walk Cherry Grove Point at dawn looking at debris scattered by Hurricane Isaias in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

A beachgoer navigates a sand and water-covered beachfront road following the effects of Hurricane Isaias in Oak Island, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A Philadelphia police officer rushes to help a stranded motorist during Tropical Storm Isaias, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Philadelphia. The storm spawned tornadoes and dumped rain during an inland march up the U.S. East Coast after making landfall as a hurricane along the North Carolina coast. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)