Isaias Update: Storm to be near hurricane strength when it reaches Carolinas later Monday


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to be near hurricane strength when it reaches the Carolinas Monday night.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the storm was about 100 miles east/southeast of Jacksonville, Florida, with maximum sustained winds about 70 mph (110 kph), just short of hurricane strength. Isaias is currently moving north at 13 mph and is expected to go back to hurricane strength when it reaches the coast at the South Carolina-North Carolina border late Monday night/early Tuesday morning.

The storm’s then expected to pick up speed, weakening as it moves inland through North Carolina. It’s then expected to reach the Hampton Roads area Tuesday morning (at the state line around 5 a.m.) and leave the area after 9 a.m.

Read more on the latest trajectory and what to expect in Jeremy Wheeler’s latest weather blog.

A flash flood watch was posted ahead of Isaias for western parts of Hampton Roads and to the west through Tuesday night.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper held a briefing on the latest updates regarding the state’s preparation for the storm on Sunday at 3 p.m.

“Our state has weathered more than our fair share of storms. We know how to plan, prepare and respond when it’s over. Nothing about that has changed. But this time, we’re gonna do it with a mask on. Helping your neighbors and loved ones is even more important as this storm approaches,” he said.

Cooper said that shelters will screen people for the coronavirus symptoms. Those who display symptoms will be directed to a sheltering option where they can isolate easier and receive medical attention.

The Captain of the Port for the Port of Wilmington set Port Condition Yankee at 8 p.m., Sunday, in anticipation of Tropical Storm Isaias, indicating that sustained gale-force winds are possible within 24 hours.

Details on Port Condition Yankee and the full release can be read here.

North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said that the Red Cross needs volunteers who can help with shelter reception, feeding, dormitory management, liaisons at hotels, and other vital tasks. Those 18 and older can visit to get started.

Previous coverage below

The impacts of the hurricane on Virginia aren’t certain yet. The storm could weaken as it moves north, and whether it tracks further inland or out to sea will determine whether it is weaker or stronger, respectively.

Friday afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Isaias for North Carolina — which is projected to go over the N.C. coast around the start of next week.

Governor is expected to prove a briefing regarding the latest updates regarding the state’s preparation for the storm Sunday at 3 p.m.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also declared a state of emergency Friday evening in advance of Hurricane Isaias moving through our region.

The governor also says residents need to know the zone they live in, which determines their risk for flooding and other impacts from storms such as Isaias. Review Virginia’s evacuation zones at

Virginians can also check out the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide During the COVID-19 Pandemic, which outlines preparedness, response, and recovery actions designed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and protect public health.

Virginians can follow the Virginia Department of Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook.

Isaias weakened to a Tropical Storm Saturday evening it blew through the Bahamas and churned toward the coast.

Early bands of heavy rain from Isaias lashed Florida’s east coast before dawn Sunday as authorities warily eyed the approaching storm, which threatened to snarl efforts to quell surging cases of the coronavirus across the region.

The center of the storm was forecast to approach the southeast coast of Florida early Sunday morning, then travel up the state’s east coast throughout the day. Little change was expected in the storm’s strength over the next few days, forecasters said.

Isaias has already been destructive in the Caribbean: On Thursday, before it became a hurricane, it uprooted trees, destroyed crops and homes and caused widespread flooding and small landslides in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. One man died in the Dominican Republic. In Puerto Rico, the National Guard rescued at least 35 people from floodwaters that swept away one woman, whose body was recovered Saturday.

Isaias snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas on Saturday and churned toward the Florida coast.

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