Hurricane Isaias has blasted in to North Carolina, crossing the coast 40 miles (65km) south-west of Wilmington.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) posted a statement on social media saying that Isaias made landfall at 23:10 EDT (03:10 GMT Tuesday).
It added that the hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 85mph (140km/h).
Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm after hitting islands within the Caribbean, but was recategorised as a category one hurricane on Monday.
It caused the deaths of two people within the Caribbean.
Isaias is that the ninth named storm of the year. The NHC warned earlier Isaias would cause heavy rainfall, leading to “widespread minor to moderate river flooding” and flash floods within the eastern Carolinas and mid-Atlantic because it moves along the US East Coast .
In north-eastern South Carolina and southern North Carolina, officials said “there is that the danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation along portions of the immediate coastline and adjacent waterways”.
Storm surges along the eastern seaboard could reach up to 5ft (1.5m) with over 8in (20cm) of rainfall, while tropical storm force winds and gusts also will reach up to the Chesapeake Bay region.
The storm this weekend scraped by Florida and earlier on Monday, its centre remained offshore of South Carolina.
In the Dominican Republican and Puerto Rico, Isaias killed a minimum of two people. The storm uprooted trees, destroyed crops and houses and caused flooding and landslides.
Isaias is bearing down upon popular tourist destinations of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina. Tornado warnings also are in effect until Tuesday.
It is projected to weaken after making landfall, but farther north, ny City is preparing for storm surges also .State officials in regions preparing for hurricanes this season have also been grappling with opening shelters that suits social distancing regulations.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper – who on Friday declared a state of emergency – urged residents during a press conference on Monday to get on the alert and stay safe.
“North Carolinians have had to dig deep in recent months to tap into our strength and resilience during the pandemic. That hasn’t been easy.
“But with this storm on the way, we’ve to dig a touch deeper. Let’s keep one another safe from the wind and water also as from the virus.”
Mr Cooper said the state is additionally equipped to open storm shelters where people can socially distance.
Facing a natural disaster during a pandemic
US disaster agencies have updated disaster preparedness and evacuation guidance in light of Covid-19.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends families add Covid-19 items to a disaster “go kit” which will be taken in an emergency situation:
- Hand sanitiser
- Soap (liquid or bar)
- Disinfectant wipes
- At least two face coverings per person (though masks shouldn’t be worn by those under two years old or those that are unconscious)
Here are some key guidelines for shielding yourself against Covid-19 if you want to evacuate to a shelter
- Wash your hands often
- Keep 6ft of distance from anyone not among your household
- If possible, wear a face covering and wash it regularly
- Avoid sharing food and drinks
- Frequently disinfect your area within the shelter (including toys and electronics)
Source: bbc news