Tropical Storm Isaias spawns deadly tornadoes, causes 'life-threatening' flooding along East Coast

Tropical Storm Isaias brings tornadoes to Maryland and Virginia

Doug McKelway reports from Alexandria.

At least two people were killed as Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped flooding rains as it roared up the East Coast on Tuesday after the storm made landfall in North Carolina.

As of 12 p.m.. EDT, U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said the storm now has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph — just 4 mph shy of officially being a hurricane – and is located about 55 miles west-southwest of Philadelphia. Isaias is moving north-northeast at 35 mph.

"Strong winds … heavy rainfall … and tornadoes occurring over southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania will continue to spread northward along the Mid-Atlantic coast this afternoon," the NHC said.

ISAIAS BRINGS TORNADO, FLASH FLOODING THREAT TO MILLIONS AFTER NORTH CAROLINA LANDFALL SPARKS FIRES, KNOCKS OUT POWER

Nearly 12 hours after coming ashore in North Carolina, the storm was causing vast amounts of destruction hundreds of miles north into the New York City metro area.

The forecast track of Tropical Storm Isaias as of Tuesday afternoon.
(Fox News)

Two people died and about 20 were injured after a tornado “totally demolished” several mobile homes in Windsor, N.C., said Juan Vaughan II, county manager for Bertie County. Three people were unaccounted for, authorities said.

"We’re still in active searches going on right now,” Vaughan said. “We really want to make sure everyone is found safe as soon as possible.”

An aerial shot by WRAL-TV 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, its tires pointed up in the air.

Deadly storm tears through North Carolina

“It doesn’t look real. It looks like something on TV. Nothing is there,” Bertie County Sheriff John Holley told reporters. “All my officers are down there at this time. Pretty much the entire trailer park is gone.”

The National Weather Service confirmed tornadoes in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Another possible tornado was reported in the Philadelphia area, where the parking lot of the Doylestown Hospital was littered with cars.

Forecasters expected the storm to hold its strength and spinoff damaging winds on a path into New England on Tuesday night.

A woman claims out of a stranded car during Tropical Storm Isaias, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

As the rains grew stronger and steadier in the Philadelphia area Tuesday, emergency responders rescued a few people trapped in vehicles when roads suddenly became flooded and mostly impassable. No injuries were reported.

A man pushes a car through a flooded street during Tropical Storm Isaias, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said that "rapidly deteriorating conditions" were happening on area roadways.

Major flooding was reported as Tropical Storm Isaias moved across the Northeast on Tuesday.
(St. Mary`s County Sheriff Tim Cameron)

Isaias toggled between tropical storm and hurricane through its path to the U.S. coast, killing two people in the Caribbean and trashing the Bahamas before brushing past Florida.

Trees lie smoldering among downed power lines after high winds and heavy rains tore through a residential neighborhood just south of Dover, Del., on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020.
(AP Photo/Randall Chase)

Most of the significant damage seemed to be east and north of where the hurricane's eye struck land.

NORTH CAROLINA COUNTY WARNS OF CHAINSAW ACCIDENTS, FIRE ANTS IN WAKE OF ISAIAS

Forecasters had clear warnings earlier, as Isaias approached land, urging people to heed the danger of life-threatening storm surge along the coasts of North and South Carolina.

Nevertheless, some veterans of earlier storms were under the impression that their areas would be spared.

Royce Potter, a fifth-generation seafood purveyor and owner of Potter’s Seafood in Southport, said he rode out the storm on a boat docked near his business, which was damaged by the wind and water.

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“They got this wrong,” Potter said, visibly shaken. “I’ve ridden storms out here for years.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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