Support Local News.

At a moment of historic disruption and change with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the calls for social and racial justice and the upcoming local and national elections, there's never been more of a need for the kind of local, independent and unbiased journalism that The Day produces.
Please support our work by subscribing today.

Tropical storm watch extends as far north as Watch Hill, R.I.

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Bands of heavy rain from Isaias lashed Florida's east coast Sunday, with the tropical storm strengthening slightly in the evening on its way up the Eastern seabord.

Officials dealing with surging cases of the coronavirus in Florida kept a close watch on the storm that was weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm Saturday afternoon, but still brought heavy rain and flooding to Florida's Atlantic coast.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been extended northward to Watch Hill, R.I., including the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, Long Island and Long Island Sound.

The National Hurricane Center advised at 5 p.m. EDT Sunday that the storm was about 65 miles off the east coast of Central Florida, and about 410 miles south of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

It was strengthening slightly with sustained winds just under a Category 1 hurricane, taking a north-northwest path, according to the center.

“Don't be fooled by the downgrade,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned at a news conference after the storm — pronounced ees-ah-EE-ahs — 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.”

Authorities closed beaches, parks and virus testing sites, lashing signs to palm trees so they wouldn't blow away. DeSantis said the state is anticipating power outages and asked residents to have a week’s supply of water, food and medicine on hand. Officials wrestled with how to prepare shelters where people can seek refuge from the storm if necessary, while also safely social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

In Palm Beach County, about 150 people were in shelters, 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.

“We don't anticipate many more evacuations,” she said, adding that the evacuees are physically distant from each other and are wearing masks, due to the virus.

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

Officials told TCPalm newspapers that 38 people registered at three schools used as shelters. Those areas now must be cleaned to ensure no traces of the coronavirus remain as teachers and staff report Monday to prepare for the upcoming school year.

No one checked in with COVID-19 symptoms. Temperature checks were done at the door, officials said, and isolation rooms were designated in case anyone came in with symptoms.

The storm's maximum sustained winds declined steadily throughout Saturday, and were at 65 mph at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, before crawling back up to 70 mph a few hours later, the hurricane center said.

“The center of Isaias will move offshore of the coast of Georgia and southern South Carolina on Monday, move inland over eastern North Carolina Monday night and move along the coast of the mid-Atlantic states on Tuesday,” according to the hurricane center.

 

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments
Stay up to date with The Day's breaking coronavirus coverage
Sign up to receive our daily coronavirus newsletter

All of our stories about the coronavirus are being provided free of charge as a service to the public. You can find all of our stories here.

You can support local journalism by subscribing to The Day.


TRENDING

PODCASTS