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The National Hurricane Center is warning residents of the Carolinas to brace for the effects of Tropical Storm Isaias, which is expected to make landfall as a hurricane in northeastern South Carolina and southern North Carolina by Monday evening.
The storm is expected to linger in North Carolina on Monday, traveling inland through the night before swirling up the Mid-Atlantic coast and into the northeastern United States on Tuesday night.
“Heavy rainfall from Isaias will result in flash and urban flooding, some of which may be significant in the eastern Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic, through Tuesday night near the path of Isaias up the East Coast of the United States. Widespread minor to moderate river flooding is possible across portions of the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic,” the National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. ET storm update.
The center warned that tornadoes are also possible over the coastal Carolinas through Tuesday evening and through eastern Virginia and New England on Tuesday as well.
The storm has already affected parts of Florida, having grazed the east coast of the state as a tropical storm on Sunday, dumping some 2 to 4 inches of rain and knocking out power for a few hundred customers, according to the Miami Herald.
Officials are warning of a potentially more severe outcome in some parts of North and South Carolina, particularly in the stretch from the South Santee River in South Carolina to Surf City, N.C., which are under a hurricane watch.
Areas spanning from the coastal waters of Georgia up to the Virginia coast could see several feet of storm surge as the storm progresses.
Further complicating matters is the coronavirus pandemic. In crowded storm shelters, it may be difficult to maintain social distancing to prevent the virus’s spread.
In a Sunday tweet, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper acknowledged the complications of managing both a pandemic and a tropical storm at the same time.
“Our state has weathered more than our fair share of storms,” he said. “We know how to plan, prepare & respond when it’s over. Nothing about that has changed. But this time, we’re gonna do it with a mask on. Helping your neighbors & loved ones is even more important as this storm approaches.”
It’s essential to listen to local officials and follow evacuation orders when they are issued. During the pandemic, your home has been the safest place, but that may change as Isaias arrives. The most important thing is to get out of harm’s way if you are told to evacuate.
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) August 2, 2020