While South Florida dodged a bullet this past weekend from Tropical Storm Isaias, the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic region are bracing for potential impact as early as Monday night.
The 8 a.m. advisory has the storm with winds at 70 miles per hour and sitting 250 miles south-southwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and moving north at 13 mph.
“The center of Isaias will pass just to the east of the Florida east coast through this morning,” the National Hurricane Center said in its advisory early Monday. “The center of Isaias will then move offshore of the coast of Georgia and southern South Carolina later today, move inland over eastern South Carolina or southern North Carolina tonight and move along the coast of the mid-Atlantic states on Tuesday.”
A tropical storm warning ranges from Central Florida to Delaware while a tropical storm watch stretches from Rhode Island to Maine, where the storm could make landfall by Wednesday.
Isaias already has caused destruction 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 floods 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.
Over the weekend, Isaias brought heavy rain and flooding to Florida as officials kept a close eye on the storm while dealing with surging cases of the coronavirus.
State-run virus testing sites in Florida that closed in areas where the storm might hit reopened Monday, including in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Officials also adapted their shelter policies to the pandemic, providing spaces where people could stay safely apart from each other to prevent the spread of the virus.
In Palm Beach County, about 150 people were in shelters, and they were wearing masks, 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.
Natalie Betancur, stocking up at a grocery in Palm Beach Gardens, said that the storm itself doesn't cause her a great amount of concern.
“The hurricane is not that serious, but I feel that the public is really panicking because it’s a hurricane and we’re in the middle of a pandemic," she said.
Officials in the Bahamas opened shelters for people in Abaco island to help those who have been living in temporary structures since Dorian devastated the area, killing at least 70 people in September 2019.