- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Tropical Storm Isaias caused tornadoes and flooding as it raced across the mid-Atlantic region Tuesday, downing trees, closing roads and killing electricity to thousands of residents in its path, authorities said. One weather-related death was reported in Southern Maryland.

The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesay that tornadoes had touched down in Kilmarnock, Virginia, and Vienna, Maryland, adding that it was investigating wind damage near Leonardtown in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, as a potential twister.

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office reported that the driver of a car was killed about 9:30 a.m., when a tree fell on the vehicle as it was traveling south on Three Notch Road (Route 5) in Mechanicsville.

Meanwhile, the Maryland State Police reported that troopers conducted a 9 a.m. water rescue of drivers from two vehicles that had been swept off the road during flooding near the Prince George’s County/Charles County line.

The drivers had tried to cross Brandywine Road, but quickly rising floodwaters from Swanson Creek washed their vehicles off the road, state police said. Both drivers were transported to a hospital in Charles County for treatment.

Weather officials on Tuesday morning had reported extremely heavy rainfall from Isaias for the District and Baltimore, with an anticipated rainfall of 2 to 3 inches per hour, rates that lead to “potentially life-threatening flash flooding.”

Multiple areas in Maryland and Virginia had reported fallen trees, downed power lines, road closures and flash flooding. Minor coastal flooding occurred on the Potomac River in Old Town Alexandria due to the rise in water from the storm.

The highest rainfall was recorded in Calvert County, which saw 8 inches. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, in Arlington County, recorded almost 4 inches around 11 a.m. and wind gusts of 35 mph. There were reports of 60 mph wind gusts in Annapolis.

“Road and bridge closures are impacting multiple jurisdictions and more than 60,000 power outages have been reported statewide. Several jurisdictions are reporting confirmed tornadic activity,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted Tuesday.

BGE, the state’s largest energy provider, reported more than 17,000 customers without power in Anne Arundel County, the most of any jurisdiction in Maryland.

By late Tuesday afternoon, the rain and wind subsided and flood watches south of Interstate 70 were cancelled and only in effect for Northeast Maryland, according to Luis Rosa, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. Earlier tornado watch alerts for Maryland were cancelled as well.

Northern Virginia experienced heavy rains and winds Tuesday morning, prompting emergency teams to respond to storm damage in Suffolk, Southampton, Lancaster County and surrounding areas, according to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

Although the storm departed the region by the afternoon, Mr. Rosa said the public should remain cautious and be on the lookout for potential coastal flooding at the D.C. waterfront.

Due to the storm, all meal distribution sites, grocery distribution sites and COVID-19 testing sites, including fire stations, in the District were closed Tuesday.

Late Monday, Isaias made landfall over the North Carolina coast as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph, the National Weather service said. As it continued northward, its strength decreased, but its speed increased to 35 mph.

The weather service said Isaias (pronounced “ee-sah-EE-as”) will speed up as it heads into New England, including New York City and other cities, and that the center of the storm is forecasted to be in Canada by Wednesday morning.

“Very heavy rain and flash flooding, damaging winds, storm surge and isolated tornadoes can be expected,” the weather service said.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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