Isaias lashes the US East Coast

By Melissa Macaya, Paul P. Murphy, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 4:53 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020
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4:50 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Here's what we know about Tropical Storm Isaias

From CNN's Holly Yan and Amir Vera

A Philadelphia police officer rushes to help a stranded motorist during Tropical Storm Isaias, on Tuesday, August 4, in Philadelphia.
A Philadelphia police officer rushes to help a stranded motorist during Tropical Storm Isaias, on Tuesday, August 4, in Philadelphia. Matt Slocum/AP

Tropical Storm Isaias raced up the East Coast today. Here's what you need to know about the storm's destructive path:

  • Two people reported dead: At least two people were killed Tuesday when a tornado struck a mobile home park in Windsor, North Carolina, Bertie County officials said. Twelve people were injured and taken to hospitals.
  • Millions lost power: The storm knocked out power for more than 2.7 million people Tuesday as the country simultaneously grapples with coronavirus.
  • Tornadoes happening in multiple states: More than a dozen tornadoes have been reported in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. A tornado watch was issued for several major cities, including New York and Philadelphia, until 4 p.m. Tuesday.
  • New York City seeing strongest winds since Sandy: The system could bring the strongest winds to New York City since Superstorm Sandy almost eight years ago, said Ross Dickman, the meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service office in New York. The National Weather Service said that LaGuardia Airport had one gust of 69 mph Tuesday.
  • Thousands of evacuations: The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NDOT) evacuated more than 3,000 people from Ocracoke Island on Monday, CNN affiliate WAVY-TV reported.
  • What's left to come from Isaias: New York will endure its toughest conditions until 7 p.m. A storm surge of 1 to 3 feet is expected, in addition to 2 to 3 inches of rain and wind gusts of up to 70 mph. Boston will get hit between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., with wind gusts of up to 50 mph and less than an inch of rain expected.

4:45 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

More than 1.3 million power outages reported in New Jersey, governor says

From CNN Rob Frehse

More than 1.3 million power outages have been reported in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

“Some of these outages may last for a few days due to the severity of the storm,” Murphy noted. “We are working closely with the utilities to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”

Track Isaias' path here.

4:03 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Nearly 2.7 million people without power along East Coast

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

Residents of Wilmington clean up tree branch debris after Hurricane Isaias made landfall near the town the night before in Wilmington, North Carolina on Tuesday.
Residents of Wilmington clean up tree branch debris after Hurricane Isaias made landfall near the town the night before in Wilmington, North Carolina on Tuesday. Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images

As Tropical Storm Isaias continues to bear down along the East Coast, there are nearly 2.7 million customers from North Carolina to Connecticut without power, according to PowerOutage.US as of 2:45 p.m. ET. 

Here's a breakdown of impacted areas:  

Note: PowerOutage.US updates their numbers approximately every 10 minutes.  

2:33 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Building collapses in Brooklyn during storm

From CNN's Paul P Murphy

Sal Aquilina had been hunkering down in his Brooklyn apartment, riding out Tropical Storm Isaias.

"Heard a giant crash, came out to see this," he said in a video he took.

The building across his street collapsed. In the video, members of the New York City Fire Department are seen responding on scene.


2:16 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Isaias is "racing" into New York, National Hurricane Center says

Tropical Storm Isaias is currently "racing north-northeastward across Eastern Pennsylvania into Southeastern New York," according to the National Hurricane Center's latest forecast advisory.

The 2 p.m. ET update said strong winds, heavy rain and possible tornados are expected into New England.

Here's the latest forecast of Isaias' path:

2:17 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Two rescued from flash flood waters in Maryland county

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos and Leslie Holland

Two people have been rescued from flash flood waters resulting from from Tropical Storm Isaias in Charles County, Maryland, according to a Fire and EMS official.

Bill Smith, Charles County volunteer fire and EMS public information officer, said 911 dispatch received a call at 8:45 a.m. ET Tuesday that at least one car had been swept off Brandywine Road during heavy rainfall and flash flooding over the Swanson Creek Bridge.

“This bridge is notorious and floods every time it rains,” Smith told CNN Tuesday. “This was one of worst flooding occurrences given the amount of rain we got this morning.”

Smith said the Charles County Dive Team and Hughesville Volunteer Fire Department responded and were able to confirm two vehicles had been swept 15 to 75 feet off the road.

“One individual, a female, was hanging from tree limb and male was found on the roof of car,” Smith said. “An air boat from 10th District Fire Station arrived on scene and made gallant effort to get into the water and were successfully able to take male off car and return for female.”

Smith said there were no injuries and both people refused transport.

In addition to the flash flooding on Brandywine Road, Smith said there are also trees down and additional flooding on roads. He noted that the Charles County Fire Department and EMS has responded to between eight and 10 additional calls of people driving through swift water and requiring assistance.

“We continue to ask people not to do it but low and behold each time it flood, we have to go rescue people,” Smith said.

Where things stand in other parts of the state: Parts of Southern Maryland have seen at least one tornado, flash flooding, downed trees, and water rescues as well, Smith said.

St. Mary’s County experienced at least one tornado touchdown. Calvert County Public Information Officer Sarah Ehman told CNN Tuesday there was at least one suspected tornado touchdown in the county and reported power outages, downed trees and power lines, flooding, and water rescues.

Prince George’s County Public Information Officer Mike Yourishin reported typical storm damage and no fatalities. 

No fatalities have been reported across the four Maryland counties that CNN has been in touch with as of Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET.

2:03 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Powerful winds have arrived in New York City

From CNN's Brandon Miller

Residents walk through the rain as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches New York City on August 4.
Residents walk through the rain as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches New York City on August 4. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Strong wind gusts are being measured around New York City this hour, with multiple metro airports reporting gusts from 60 to 70 mph.

While initial reports are always unofficial, these would be the strongest winds since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and could end up exceeding gusts experienced with that storm.

 Here's where some of the gusts were recorded:

  • Battery Park in Manhattan: 78 mph
  • John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens: 70 mph
  • LaGuardia Airport in Queens: 69 mph
  • Newark Airport in New Jersey: 68 mph

Additionally, a 109-mph wind gust occurred at Long Beach Island, New Jersey, shortly before 11 a.m. ET. This was the result of a reported waterspout hitting the weather station.  

Power outages are also climbing quickly, with more than 2 million customers without power, according to 

1:20 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

New Jersey Transit suspends some rail service due to Isaias

From CNN's Alisha Ebrahimji

Several rail lines are suspended due to weather related, overhead wire and signal issues, New Jersey Transit tweeted today.

Read the tweet:

1:05 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

At least two people dead in North Carolina as Isaias makes landfall

From CNN's Tina Burnside


A second storm-related death has been confirmed in Bertie County, North Carolina, after a tornado touched down at a mobile home park overnight, according to a news release from the county. 

The tornado touched down just after 2 a.m. ET at the Cedar Landing mobile home community in Windsor, North Carolina, the release stated. 

Task force teams are on the ground assisting in the search and rescue efforts, the county said. 

According to CNN affiliate WCTI, three people remain unaccounted for.