Isaias could become hurricane as it pulls away from Florida

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Tropical Storm Isaias is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane and hit the Carolinas on Monday night before traveling up the East Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.As of 11 a.m. Monday, the storm is 220 miles south-southwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is moving north at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.A hurricane warning has been issued for parts of South Carolina and North Carolina, and surges could reach 3 to 5 feet. The tropical storm warning has been extended northward to Rhode Island.Tracking Isaias: The latest maps and models”We are forecasting it to become a hurricane before it reaches the coast this evening,” senior hurricane specialist Daniel Brown said. “It’s forecast to produce a dangerous storm surge, of 3 to 5 feet in portions of North and South Carolina.”Isaias — pronounced ees-ah-EE-ahs — could bring heavy rains, too — up to 8 inches in spots as it moves up the coast, Brown said —and “all those rains could produce flash flooding across portions of eastern Carolinas and mid-Atlantic, and even in the northeast U.S.” Over the weekend, Isaias brought heavy rain and flooding to Florida as officials kept a close eye on the storm while dealing with surging cases of the coronavirus.The storm had weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm on Saturday afternoon, and its most damaging winds remained offshore.“Don’t be fooled by the downgrade,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned at a news conference after the storm spent hours roughing up the Bahamas.Upper-level winds took much of the strength out of Isaias, said Stacy Stewart, senior hurricane specialist at the hurricane center in Miami.“We were expecting a hurricane to develop and it didn’t,” Stewart said Sunday. “It’s a tale of two storms. If you live on the west side of the storm, you didn’t get much. If you live east of the storm, there’s a lot of nasty weather there.”Isaias caused destruction and two deaths as it uprooted trees, destroyed crops and homes and caused widespread flooding and small landslides in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. One man died in the Dominican Republic. In Puerto Rico, the National Guard rescued at least 35 people from floods that swept away one woman, whose body was recovered Saturday.Isaias then snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas on Saturday. Officials in the Bahamas opened shelters for people in Abaco island to help those who have been living in temporary structures since Dorian devastated the area, killing at least 70 people in September 2019.Authorities closed Florida beaches, parks and virus testing sites, lashing signs to palm trees so they wouldn’t blow away. Officials also adapted their shelter policies to the pandemic, providing spaces where people could stay safely apart from each other to prevent the spread of the virus.In Palm Beach County, about 150 people were in shelters, and they were wearing masks, said emergency management spokeswoman Lisa De La Rionda. The county has a voluntary evacuation order for those living in mobile or manufactured homes, or those who feel their home can’t withstand winds.In Indian River County, north of West Palm Beach, Florida, emergency shelters were clearing out Sunday after Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm.The storm did not affect the successful return of two astronauts aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule, which splashed down into calm waters in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola. Test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken rode the capsule back to Earth less than a day after departing the International Space Station and two months after blasting off from Florida.

Tropical Storm Isaias is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane and hit the Carolinas on Monday night before traveling up the East Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, the storm is 220 miles south-southwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is moving north at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

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A hurricane warning has been issued for parts of South Carolina and North Carolina, and surges could reach 3 to 5 feet. The tropical storm warning has been extended northward to Rhode Island.

Tracking Isaias: The latest maps and models

“We are forecasting it to become a hurricane before it reaches the coast this evening,” senior hurricane specialist Daniel Brown said. “It’s forecast to produce a dangerous storm surge, of 3 to 5 feet in portions of North and South Carolina.”

Isaias — pronounced ees-ah-EE-ahs — could bring heavy rains, too — up to 8 inches in spots as it moves up the coast, Brown said —and “all those rains could produce flash flooding across portions of eastern Carolinas and mid-Atlantic, and even in the northeast U.S.”

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Over the weekend, Isaias brought heavy rain and flooding to Florida as officials kept a close eye on the storm while dealing with surging cases of the coronavirus.

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

“Don’t be fooled by the downgrade,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned at a news conference after the storm spent hours roughing up the Bahamas.

Upper-level winds took much of the strength out of Isaias, said Stacy Stewart, senior hurricane specialist at the hurricane center in Miami.

“We were expecting a hurricane to develop and it didn’t,” Stewart said Sunday. “It’s a tale of two storms. If you live on the west side of the storm, you didn’t get much. If you live east of the storm, there’s a lot of nasty weather there.”

Isaias caused destruction and two deaths as it uprooted trees, destroyed crops and homes and caused widespread flooding and small landslides in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. One man died in the Dominican Republic. In Puerto Rico, the National Guard rescued at least 35 people from floods that swept away one woman, whose body was recovered Saturday.

Isaias then snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas on Saturday. Officials in the Bahamas opened shelters for people in Abaco island to help those who have been living in temporary structures since Dorian devastated the area, killing at least 70 people in September 2019.

Authorities closed Florida beaches, parks and virus testing sites, lashing signs to palm trees so they wouldn’t blow away. Officials also adapted their shelter policies to the pandemic, providing spaces where people could stay safely apart from each other to prevent the spread of the virus.

In Palm Beach County, about 150 people were in shelters, and they were wearing masks, said emergency management spokeswoman Lisa De La Rionda. The county has a voluntary evacuation order for those living in mobile or manufactured homes, or those who feel their home can’t withstand winds.

In Indian River County, north of West Palm Beach, Florida, emergency shelters were clearing out Sunday after Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm.

The storm did not affect the successful return of two astronauts aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule, which splashed down into calm waters in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola. Test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken rode the capsule back to Earth less than a day after departing the International Space Station and two months after blasting off from Florida.

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