NEW YORK, NY (CBS) — After Tropical Storm Isaias brushed Florida over the weekend, there are still nearly 120 million Americans in the path of the ferocious storm. Warnings stretch from North and South Carolina to Maine. At least two people were killed over the weekend in the Dominican Republic as the storm passed through the Caribbean.
Isaias is expected to make landfall around Myrtle Beach on Monday night as a Category 1 hurricane, before ripping up the East Coast on Tuesday, bringing with it as much as 6 inches of rain, flooding, power outages and damaging winds. New York City could see its highest gusts since Superstorm Sandy — nearly eight years ago.
Isaias lit up the sky overnight with a spectacular show featuring thousands of lightning bolts, as seen from a U.S. weather satellite in space.
Beneath the clouds, strong winds and high surf pounded the coasts of Florida and Georgia causing flooding, beach erosion and the evacuation of a water-locked hospital in Cape Canaveral. But the bulk of the storm just swiped the coast of those two states — and remained at sea.
Some areas that will get hit are also affected by the coronavirus outbreak. North Carolina already shut down some testing centers and the governor there is warning those who need to leave the coast to avoid staying in shelters to prevent spreading COVID-19. However, for those who do need them, there will be temperature checks and anyone running a fever will be sent to another shelter where they will be isolated.
The Carolinas are not expected to be so lucky.
“We’re anticipating landfall in North Carolina, South Carolina border tonight,” said Drew Pearson, the emergency management director in Dare County, North Carolina. “Our biggest concern is storm surge. We have very low lying areas. We’ve evacuated Hatteras Island down to our south.”
“This storm will bring dangerous weather conditions to much of our state overnight — heavy rains, flash floods,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.
In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, people walking dogs strolled the sand Monday morning under overcast skies while children played in surf that gently lapped the shore.
“We’re from Michigan, so we get snow and go through it all,” Aliyah Owens, who arrived in Myrtle Beach for a summer vacation Sunday, told WTBW-TV. “A little water isn’t going to hurt.”
CBS affiliate WCSC-TV reports tropical storm warnings continue up and down the South Carolina coast as far inland as Orangeburg and Kingstree. A storm surge warning is in effect for two to four feet above ground level especially along the coast because of the high tide.