Shops closed, beaches de­serted as Isa­ias nears Caroli­nas


NORTH MYR­TLE BEACH, S.C. — Coastal shops and restau­rants closed early, power be­gan to flicker at ocean­front ho­tels and even the most ad­ven­tur­ous of beach­go­ers aban­doned the sand Mon­day night as newly re­strength­ened Hur­ri­cane Isa­ias sped to­ward the Caroli­nas.

The U.S. Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter warned ocean­side home dwellers to brace for storm surge up to 5 feet and up to 8 inches of rain in spots, as Isa­ias moved up the coast. The Caroli­nas weren’t the only states at risk.

“All those rains could pro­duce flash flood­ing across por­tions of the east­ern Caroli­nas and mid-At­lantic, and even in the north­east U.S.,” said Daniel Brown, se­nior hur­ri­cane spe­cial­ist at the U.S. Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter. A trop­i­cal storm warn­ing ex­tended all the way up to Maine, where flash flood­ing was pos­si­ble in some ar­eas on Wed­nes­day.

The cen­ter also warned of pos­si­ble tor­na­does in North Carolina on Mon­day night and early Tues­day, and from east­ern Vir­ginia to south­ern New Eng­land later Tues­day.

Isa­ias (pro­nounced ees-ah-EE-ahs) was up­graded again from a trop­i­cal storm to a Cat­e­gory 1 hur­ri­cane at 8 p.m. East­ern time. The storm had max­i­mum sus­tained winds of 85 miles and was cen­tered about 60 miles south of Myr­tle Beach. It was mov­ing north­east at 16 mph.

Isa­ias killed two peo­ple in the Caribbean and roughed up the Ba­hamas but re­mained at sea as it brushed past Florida over the week­end, pro­vid­ing some wel­come relief to emer­gency man­agers who had to ac­com­mo­date mask-wear­ing evac­uees in storm shel­ters. The cen­ter of Isa­ias re­mained well off­shore as it passed Ge­or­gia’s coast on Mon­day.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Mon­day de­scribed Isa­ias as “very se­ri­ous.”

“Storm surge and in­land flood­ing are pos­si­ble and ev­ery­one needs to re­main vig­i­lant un­til it passes,” Trump said.

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