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Tornadoes tear through U.S. Northeast as Tropical Storm Isaias rages

by Reuters
Tuesday, 4 August 2020 16:33 GMT

(Adds tornadoes)

Aug 4 (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Isaias raced up the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday, generating tornadoes and knocking out power, and a twister in North Carolina killed at least one person when it obliterated a mobile home park.

The fast-moving storm threatened flash flooding in urban areas such as Philadelphia and could generate tornadoes throughout the Northeast.

The center of the storm moved across Maryland and was about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Philadelphia as of 11 a.m. Eastern time (1500 GMT), the National Hurricane Center said.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (110 kph), Isaias was moving north-northwest at 35 mph (56 kph).

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a tornado warning through 4 p.m. (2000 GMT) after the hurricane center reported numerous twisters throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Social media images showed tornadoes in Cape May, Marmora and Long Beach Island along New Jersey's southern shore, as well as tornado damage in Dover, Delaware. Eighteen New Jersey counties were under tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect from North Carolina to Maine.

More than 600,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and Virginia were without power, according to electric companies.

The storm made landfall as a hurricane near Wilmington, North Carolina, shortly before midnight, destroying a mobile home park in Bertie County that was reduced to a field of debris.

Three or four people were missing, and at least two of them were children, WITN television reported, citing Sheriff John Holley. Some 10 to 12 mobile homes were destroyed and vehicles were tossed atop each other, the sheriff said.

Further north, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy warned that hundreds of thousands more customers may experience power outages in his state.

"We are dealing with a weather crisis in the midst of a pandemic," Murphy said. "To say this is not an easy endeavor would be the understatement of the day." (Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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