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Isaias kills 4 in North Carolina; millions without power

Aug. 4 (UPI) -- At least our people died Tuesday after Tropical Storm Isaias kicked up tornadoes and brought heavy winds to locations along the Atlantic coast, local officials said.

Two of the fatalities happened overnight in North Carolina, while there was one each in New York and Maryland.

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Bertie County, N.C., Emergency Manager Director Mitch Cooper said emergency responders were searching a mobile home park and the surrounding area where a twister hit around 2:30 a.m., when Isaias was still classified as a hurricane.

"We want to emphasize that this is not a recovery mission, and rescues are still taking place which is why it is increasingly important to steer clear of the area," he said in a late-morning statement.

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County officials said it's unclear how many homes were damaged by the hurricane and tornado. The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald reported dozens of people were injured and two children were missing.

Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm early Tuesday after it made landfall around 11:10 p.m. Monday near Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., about 160 miles southwest of where the tornado hit.

Gusty winds toppled trees throughout the tri-state area Tuesday afternoon, including one in Queens that killed a man. The tree fell onto a parked van the man was sitting in, WNBC-TV in New York City reported.

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In Maryland, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office said a tree fell onto a vehicle in Mechanicsville, killing a female driver.

Flooding was a problem along much of the coast, including Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, both in South Carolina. North Myrtle Beach Councilwoman Nicole Fontana said the storm downed trees and power lines, and stranded motorists had to rescued in floodwaters.

"You hate to see damage any time," she told The Washington Post. "People work hard for the things that they have and especially now during [COVID-19], money's tight for people. It's unfortunate some people have lost some of their lower parts of their houses."

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Several states along the Atlantic coast have reported widespread power outages as Tropical Storm Isaias makes its way north. The epicenter of the storm was about 65 miles west of New York City as of 2 p.m.

As of Tuesday afternoon, New Jersey had the greatest number of customers affected, with 1.4 million outages, followed by New York (512,000), Pennsylvania (379,000), Connecticut (263,000), Virginia (218,000) and North Carolina (134,000).

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