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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4:03 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. 

12:29 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

More than a million customers without power from Isaias

From CNN's Dave Hennen

There are now more than a million customers without power from the strong winds and tornadoes associated with Isaias, according to PowerOutage.US.

New Jersey is currently the most impacted area with more than 325,000 customers impacted. Virginia is a close second, with nearly 300,000, followed by North Carolina, with nearly 230,000 and Maryland and Pennsylvania both over 100,000.

Strong storms, high winds and tornadoes will continue to impact the Northeast through the afternoon and into the evening, so that number will continue to grow.

11:27 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Hurricanes produce tornadoes — often with little warning

More tornadoes are highly likely as Isaias continues to track through the Northeast Tuesday.

Most hurricanes and tropical storms are good at producing tornadoes because they cause a lot of vertical shear — or differences in wind direction and speed at different heights.

Tornadoes caused by hurricanes "are generally smaller, weaker, and shorter-lived than traditional tornadoes you see across Tornado Alley," the wide stretch of the Midwest and southern Plains that frequently gets pummeled by twisters, says CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

But they can spin up very quickly and with little warning. 

It is good to be prepared and close a safe space when you are within a tornado watch. This way, when a warning is issued, you can get out of harm's way. 

Here are four tips four quick tornado safety tips that could save your life

  • Get alerts
  • Know the safest places to shelter
  • Avoid dangerous places
  • Protect yourself