Tropical Storm Isaias is bringing rain and strong winds to Ocean City. The storm is moving very quickly and will clear out by early afternoon.
A tornado warning was in effect for Worcester County until 8:30 a.m. A tornado watch will remain in effect until noon. There have been two confirmed tornadoes on the Eastern Shore. One touched down around 7:20 a.m. in Girdletree (Wicomico) and the other after 6 a.m. in Mardela Springs (Dorchester County).
The storm is also causing widespread power outages. Delmarva Power says that 4,499 customers are without power in Worcester County alone.
According to the latest advisory from the NWS National Hurricane Center, Isaias is situated at 39.1 N 76.8 W, and is moving NE at 35 mph. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, just shy of the 74 mph mark for a hurricane.
Isaias was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane at 8 p.m. Monday night and then downgraded back to a tropical storm overnight.
The storm pummeled northeastern South Carolina and the North Carolina coast Monday Night. Isaias made landfall in southern North Carolina after 11 p.m. Monday.
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Worcester County. The latest local forecasts show that Isaias will clear out by 2 p.m.
A storm surge of 1-2 feet is possible.
Strong winds of 35 to 50 mph are possible and gusts could surpass 70 mph.
Ocean City may only receive 1 inch of rain. Other areas along the Eastern Shore could receive 6+ inches. WBOC’s Weather Team said, “The axis of heaviest rain will be on the north and west side of this storm, so this will not be determined until the storm makes landfall and begins to motor to the north and east.” As the models shift slightly, the rainfall forecast changes dramatically. Regardless of location, flooding is still a risk. For now, expect 1-2 inches on the coast and 3-6 inches in NW Delmarva.
On Facebook, WBOC Meteorologist Dan Satterfield discussed the unique nature of Tropical Storm Isaias. “We often see tropical cyclones pass just offshore and this is the good side of the storm. Be warned that tomorrow will be different. Isaias will pass over Delmarva and it will be weakening slowly. I am quite confident that this will be a real wallop. Worst tropical cyclone since Sandy for sure.”
The storm will clear out Tuesday evening, but officials warn of dangerous rip currents after the storm.
At the conclusion of Monday night’s Ocean City Mayor and Council meeting, Mayor Rick Meehan urged residents and visitors to stay safe and avoid the water tomorrow. He encouraged those who choose to go to the beach to talk to lifeguards about the conditions.
The Town of Ocean City is surely monitoring the storm. In a press release on Monday, officials said, “Winds in excess of 40 mph are expected, with gusts reaching as high as 50 to 60 mph. Based on the current track, Ocean City could see several inches of rain and flooding during high tide cycles. Town of Ocean City personnel have begun completing pre-storm action items, including closing the seawall and removing items from the beach. Residents are encouraged to begin securing outdoor furniture, grills and waters vessels and prepare for power outages.” For more information, click here.
In preparation for the storm, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has activated the state pre-landfall planning team. In a press release on Sunday, Russ Strickland, Executive Director of MEMA, said, “Please don’t let your guard down just because Isaias is no longer a hurricane. Be prepared for potential power outages, flash floods, and tidal flooding. This is still a dangerous system.” MEMA also pointed out that the lower Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland are expected to be hit hardest by Isaias, but “a slight shift westward of the storm track could bring heavy rain to parts of western Maryland.”
**This story was last updated at 11 a.m. on August 4 and will be updated once again as the forecast changes**