Strong Winds Reported as South Carolina Braces for Tropical Storm Isaias

Katie Ramirez
August 4, 2020

At the 8:00 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Isaias was 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Charleston, South Carolina and 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Myrtle Beach, North Carolina.Isaias is now packing maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) with higher gusts.

While a few local officials on the East Coast ordered evacuations, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned of severe inland flooding, as occurred with 2018's Hurricane Florence, which killed 40 people and caused $17 billion in damage in the state.

Isaias re-intensified into a Category 1 hurricane Monday evening shortly before approached the Carolina coast with top winds of 85 miles per hour, as of 9 p.m. ET.

Bands of heavy rain from the tropical storm lashed Florida's east coast Sunday.

The storm poses an immediate threat to a stretch of coastline that includes the SC tourist resort of Myrtle Beach and the North Carolina port city of Wilmington.

The center will then move inland across eastern North Carolina early Tuesday morning, move along the coast of the mid-Atlantic states on Tuesday, and continue across the northeastern United States Tuesday night.

The storm had weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm on Saturday afternoon, and its most damaging winds remained offshore.

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

President Donald Trump on Monday described Isaias as "very serious".

"So stay safe", he added.

Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect.

"Whether it's labeled a tropical storm or a hurricane, you should take this storm seriously, and make sure your family is ready", Cooper said. Fogarty said that may amount to about an hour of heavy showers at most. Island officials were taking no chances after taking a beating less than a year ago from Hurricane Dorian. Rainfall totals from the storm will be the heaviest in the western part of the state and lightest in eastern areas.

Authorities closed Florida beaches, parks and virus testing sites, lashing signs to palm trees so they wouldn't blow away.

About 150 people had to keep masks on while sheltering in Palm Beach County, which had a voluntary evacuation order for people living in homes that can't withstand risky winds, said emergency management spokeswoman Lisa De La Rionda.

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