Hurricane Isaias has made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center. The Category 1 storm, packing 85 mph (136 km/h) winds, set off flooding and sparked five home fires in Ocean Isle Beach, the town’s mayor told a local TV station.
Firefighters from the town’s fire department were battling the blaze with assistance from Horry County firefighters in South Carolina, Tony Casey, a spokesperson for Horry County Fire Rescue, told the Associated Press.
About 80 miles (128 kilometers) north of Ocean Isle Beach, about 30 people were displaced due to a fire at a condominium complex in Surf City, news outlets reported. It is not clear if the fires were connected to the storm. No injuries have been reported.
The hurricane weakened to a tropical storm on Tuesday morning over eastern North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Duke Energy reported hundreds of thousands of power outages as heavy rains and winds battered areas including Wrightsville, Kure, and Carolina beaches in Wilmington, North Carolina.
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 US National Hurricane Center warned oceanside home dwellers to brace for storm surge up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) and up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) 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 US,” said Daniel Brown, senior hurricane specialist at the US 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 early Tuesday, and from eastern Virginia to southern New England later Tuesday.