Tropical Storm Isaias lashes coast
At least four killed as storm spawns tornadoes, floods
WINDSOR, N.C. — At least four people were killed as Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain Tuesday along the U.S. East Coast after making landfall as a hurricane in North Carolina, where it caused floods and fires that displaced dozens of people.
Two people died when Isaias spun off a tornado that struck a North Carolina mobile home park. Authorities said two others were killed by falling trees toppled by the storm in Maryland and New York City.
More than 18 hours after coming ashore, Isaias still had sustained top winds of 65 mph at
5 p.m. Tuesday. The storm’s center was about 20 miles west of Albany, New York.
As Isaias sped northward at 40 mph, the National Hurricane Center warned of flash flood threats in New York’s Hudson River Valley and potential for potentially severe river flooding elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic region.
In Philadelphia, the Schuylkill River was projected to crest early today at 15.4 feet, its highest level in more than 150 years. By Tuesday night, the river had already overtopped its banks in low-lying Manayunk, turning bar-lined Main Street into a coffee-colored canal.
Two people died after a tornado demolished several mobile homes in Windsor, North Carolina. Emergency responders finished searching the wreckage Tuesday afternoon.
They found no other casualties, and several people initially feared missing had all been accounted for, said Ron Wesson, chairman of the Bertie County Board of Commissioners. He said about 12 people were hospitalized.
Sharee and Jeffrey Stilwell took shelter in their living room about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday as the tornado tore through Windsor. Sharee Stillwell said their home shook “like a freight train.”
“I felt like the house was going to cave in,” said Jeffrey Stillwell, 65, though once the storm passed, the couple found only a few damaged shingles and fallen tree branches in the yard.
The mobile home park less than 2 miles away wasn’t so fortunate. Aerial video 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.
“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.
In New York City, a massive tree fell and crushed a van in the Briarwood section of Queens, killing a man inside, police said. A woman in Mechanicsville, Maryland, died when a tree crashed onto her car during stormy conditions, said Cpl. Julie Yingling of the St. Mary’s County sheriff’s office.
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 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.
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 3.3 million customers losing electricity across multiple states.