Tropical Storm Warning issued for New York City region ahead of Isaias

A Tropical Storm Warning was issued Monday for New York City, Long Island, parts of New Jersey, and Connecticut ahead of the expected arrival of Isaias. Officials say they expect the storm to bring moderate coastal flooding, heavy rain, and strong winds to the area. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Westchester County, Orange County, Putnam County, Rockland County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Morris County, Somerset County, and Wester Passaic County.

According to the National Weather Service, periods of moderate to heavy rainfall associated with Tropical Storm Isaias are possible Monday night into Wednesday morning, with the heaviest rainfall likely Tuesday night. 

Isaias was forecast to be near hurricane strength as it approached the Carolinas Monday, just a day after bands of heavy rain from the tropical storm lashed Florida's east coast. 

The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Surf City, North Carolina, in its 5 a.m. advisory. Tropical Storm Isaias had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) and was expected to strengthen later Monday, forecasters said. A Category 1 hurricane has winds of 74 to 95 mph (119 to 153 kph).

By the time the storm reaches the tri-state area, Isaias’ top wind gusts should have weakened to roughly 50-70 mph.

The New York City Emergency Management Department says it is closely monitoring the situation, and a Flash Flood Watch has been issued for the city from 6 a.m. on Tuesday, August 4 until 6 a.m. on Wednesday, August 5.

“NYC Emergency Management has been closely monitoring this system since before it became a tropical storm, and we’re gearing up for any possible impacts the city may face as a result of the storm,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell. “We encourage New Yorkers to make a family emergency plan, pack a Go Bag, including hand sanitizer and extra face coverings, charge cell phones, and have an emergency supply kit to be ready for any kind of emergency.”

New Yorkers can stay informed about local weather forecasts and find out their hurricane evacuation zones with updates from NotifyNYC, along with the Emergency Management Department's website on coastal storms and hurricanes.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during a conference call Friday that the state is taking all the necessary precautions ahead of Isaias' arrival.

“We have the emergency command center up and are talking to local governments, the state agencies are getting deployed looking for a possible situation early-mid next week,” Cuomo said. 

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There is the potential in New Jersey for winds of 45 to 55 mph with gusts to 75 mph from Tuesday morning into Tuesday evening, forecasters said. Those winds could down trees and power lines.

The storm was packing heavy rain that could cause moderate flooding in parts of the state.

Forecasters said a storm surge could cause problems until Wednesday morning mainly along the shoreline and in low-lying areas.

Swimmers need to be cautious because Isaias was whipping up the waves and causing strong rip currents. Moderate beach erosion was expected.

Local utility companies are also bracing for the storm in our area, and are suggesting that people have radios, flashlights, batteries and non-perishable food and water on hand, along with charging your phones and other devices and having an evacuation plan in place, just in case of an emergency. 

“Hurricane Isaias may arrive on the heels of other storms that have saturated the ground, making it easier for trees to be uprooted and bring down power lines. We’re preparing and closely monitoring the storm path,” said Jack Bridges, PSE&G’s vice president for Electric Operations. “We have crews available to respond to any service interruptions that may occur and we encourage customers to contact us immediately should they experience an outage.”

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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.

With the Associated Press.