Tropical Storm Isaias knocks out power to millions in Mid-Atlantic, floodwaters swamp roads and homes


MID-ATLANTIC (WCMH) — The Eastern Seaboard is cleaning up in the aftermath of flooding rains and hurricane force wind gusts that accompanied the passage of Tropical Storm Isaias on Tuesday.

Hurricane Isaias made landfall Monday night at 11:15 p.m. along the North Carolina coast near Ocean Isle Beach, packing 85 mph winds, with gusts as high as 99 mph at Federal Point, N.C. The storm raced northward Tuesday nearly parallel to Interstate 95, sailing over the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delmarva, Philadelphia and across northwestern New Jersey, southeastern New York and western New England.

More than three million utility customers lost power during the height of the storm, including around 1.4 million in New Jersey. Trees were toppled by high winds, landing on homes and bringing down power lines. Eight deaths have been attributed to the storm. A tornado leveled a mobile home park in Raleigh, N.C., killing two persons. More than 20 tornadoes were reported from North Carolina to southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

On the western side of the storm’s path, which flew north-northeast at 35-40 mph, flooding rains totaled more than 8 inches. Wynnewood, Pa., west of Philadelphia, received 8.59 inches. Flash flooding swamped Upper Darby and Philadelphia was soaked with 4.16 inches. Winds gusted to 78 mph at New York Harbor and Farmingdale, Long Island.

Flooded roads in Snydersville, Pa. (Photos/Michael Pontrelli)

Isaias reached tropical storm strength late on July 29, nine days earlier than the previous record (Irene on Aug. 7, 2005) in the Atlantic Basin. The only more intense storm this year was Hurricane Hanna, also a Category 1 hurricane that briefly had winds of 90 mph before landfall on Padre Island, Tex., on July 25. Five named storms have made landfall in the U.S. so far this year, which is also an early-season record.

Tropical Storm Fay came ashore a little north-northeast of Atlantic City, N.J., on July 10, with heavy rain but much less wind strength.

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