Soundside storm surge subsides, power outages left behind by Isaias

Power lines damaged by Isaias near Bath in Beaufort County. [photo courtesy Tideland EMC]

While the Outer Banks was relatively spared the wrath of Hurricane Isaias and evacuation orders for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands have been lifted, other parts of northeastern North Carolina took the brunt of the record fifth tropical system to make landfall in the United States.

Only some sand and pockets of water from rainfall and the sounds covered N.C. 12 in the usual spots south of Oregon Inlet.

While soundside areas from Belhaven to Rodanthe to the state line saw water level rises of up to three feet above ground, they were not as high as feared ahead of the storm’s arrival.

Some of the worst flooding was reported in downtown Elizabeth City. But as the day wore on, the winds subsided and the high water began to recede.

More than 77,000 customers across the state were still without power Tuesday evening, after a peak of over 370,000 as Isaias sped away.

Power was almost fully restored to Dare County residents by late in the evening, but seven local counties had more than 1,000 customers still in the dark at sunset.

Power outages in northeastern North Carolina as of Tuesday, 8 p.m. [NCDPS image]

Authorities confirmed Tuesday morning a man and woman were killed by a tornado that ripped through a mobile home community in Bertie County.

A dozen people who lived in the neighborhood several miles southeast of Windsor were sent to area hospitals with injuries. A mother and two children who were thought to be missing were found safe.

Governor Roy Cooper plans to visit Bertie County to survey the damage Wednesday morning.

At least five tornadoes have been confirmed from Hertford County to Brunswick County, where the center of Isaias made landfall Monday night on the southeastern North Carolina coast.

The National Weather Service continues to conduct assessments of areas that may have been hit by tornadoes, and the numbers are expected to climb.

In the towns of Oak Island and Ocean Isle Beach, where the center of the storm rolled in with winds topping 85 miles per hour, dozens of vehicles were floated away from oceanfront homes and into the streets by ocean storm surge that topped four feet.

Four houses in Ocean Isle burned to the ground in a fire that ragged just as the eyewall hit the beaches near the South Carolina border.

Further to the west, rainfall amounts of up to six inches along the I-95 corridor prompted a number of flash floods and swift water rescues.

Donations are being accepted for the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund and will address immediate needs such as tarps, food, water and cleaning supplies. The funds will be distributed to nonprofits working in North Carolina communities affected by Isaias.

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