Tropical Storm Isaias is swiftly moving north along the mid-Atlantic coast, after crashing into North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane Monday night.
The storm whipped up winds over 80 mph, spawning several tornadoes and killing at least one person. Dangerous storm surges were reported on the North Carolina coast, as well as flooding further inland.
Isaias is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the Northeast today, with the National Hurricane Center warning of potentially “life-threatening” flooding in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, hurricane-force winds across the mid-Atlantic, and heavy rainfall.
With 300,000 power outages reported across the state of North Carolina alone, health care may be difficult to access as the coronavirus pandemic pushes services online. At the Broad Street Clinic in Morehead City, N.C. – about two hours north of where the storm touched down – 90% of appointments have been shifted to telemedicine since the start of the pandemic. On Tuesday, all remaining in-person appointments were moved to virtual visits. “It’s kind of a gamble, but it’s the safest thing,” said Executive Director Edie Reed, who expressed worries about patients navigating submerged roadways after the storm. “We didn’t want our patients trying to get here to make an appointment,” said Reed.
Isaias is the ninth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, making it the earliest of its kind on record. Typically, the Atlantic basin experiences its ninth named storm in October.
In response, Direct Relief has expedited several shipments of emergency medical supplies to health facilities across North and South Carolina, in addition to pre-positioning supplies at health facilities in hurricane-prone communities along the Atlantic seaboard. Direct Relief’s emergency response team will continue to track the storm and respond to requests as needed.