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Fires Erupt as Hurricane Isaias Makes Landfall

It is now a tropical storm, heading from NC to Virginia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 4, 2020 5:51 AM CDT
Updated Aug 4, 2020 6:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – Hurricane Isaias made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, as a Category 1 hurricane before being downgraded to a tropical storm, according to an official with the National Hurricane Center. The hurricane touched down just after 11pm on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 85mph. The storm—centered about 25 miles northwest of Greenville and moving quickly north northeast—now has maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, per the AP. "Now that the center has moved further inland into east North Carolina, the winds are now coming back down, so it has been downgraded back to a tropical storm," says Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist with the NHC. The weather service also said in its 4am advisory that threats of tornadoes were beginning to spread into southeastern Virginia, where the storm was expected to arrive around daybreak.

The storm set off flooding and sparked five home fires in Ocean Isle Beach, the town's mayor told WECT. About 80 miles north of Ocean Isle Beach, about 30 people were displaced due to a fire at a condominium complex in Surf City, news outlets reported. It is not clear if the fires were connected to the storm. No injuries have been reported. The storm could continue to bring down trees and cause power outages as it moves north along the mid-Atlantic and New England coastline, Berg said, predicting "very strong and gusty winds that will affect much of the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast over the next day or two." Rainfall will continue to be a big issue, he added. A tropical storm warning extended all the way up to Maine, where flash flooding was possible in some areas on Wednesday. The NHC warned of possible tornadoes in North Carolina early Tuesday, and from eastern Virginia to southern New England later Tuesday.

(Read more Hurricane Isaias stories.)

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