Here comes tropical storm Isaias, with most of the I-95 corridor under National Weather Service warnings that say it’s expected to move through in the next 24 hours.
Winds and rain are expected to begin Monday night and rise to 100 percent Tuesday, with the worst of rain and damage from Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening.
While the Weather Service says the current threat to life and property is limited, Isaias is hitting right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Older people and people with health issues are trying to isolate themselves and avoid infection.
“Safely check on your neighbors, especially the elderly, where possible,” said Jeff Sands, spokesman for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency.
The state anticipates that Isaias will be a fairly fast moving storm with the greatest threats being wind and significant rain in a short period of time, and possible flooding.
Homes may lose power because of downed trees and power lines.
“In turn this could pose a problem with the heat, and people should have a plan for how to stay cool if the power goes out,” Sands said.
“Do everything you need to get done today,” said Jill Fredel, director of communications at Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. “Nobody wants to walk around with a soaking wet face mask.”
Those errands might include picking up prescriptions or groceries today, especially if you are a senior or someone with a disability, or someone picking up supplies for them.
She suggested having on hand extra water and extra food, especially if there’s a chance the power could be out.
“If you need to get tested, I would get tested today,” she said. “I have a feeling most of our outdoor testing sites are going to get washed out on Tuesday, We have a lot of tents and it’s going to be too much in the wind.”
Isaias is expected to have winds ranging from 45 to 55 miles per hour with gusts around 75 miles per hour. Those can damage porches, carports, sheds and mobile homes. The worst of the storm is expected Tuesday, and sustained winds and gusts can rip large limbs from trees.
Isaias is expected to bring 3 to 6 inches or rain, and possibly a foot of rain in storm surge areas. Coastal flooding is expected to be limited, but roads flood with 4 inches of rain, and streams and rivers will rise.
General preparation for a storm include filling your car with gas; laying in supplies such as food and water; securing anything in your yard that could become a flying hazard; moving outdoor furniture or other objects into a garage or storage areas; making sure cell phones are charged; making sure any external battery chargers or banks are charged.
If an evacuation is ordered because of flood, the weather service recommends leaving.
DelDOT will be monitoring the storm and sharing updates as necessary via social media and WTMC 1380AM and reminds motorists that headlights should be on when windshield wipers are in use and to slow down and allow more travel time during any rain event. If motorists see a road hazard, they should call 911.
AAA Mid-Atlantic reminds drivers to avoid driving if possible, seek higher ground if they must, never drive though water and take the nearest exit if road conditions worsen.
Because as little as six inches of rain can stall out your engine, AAA recommends that you turn around if you reach a pool of water and don’t know its depth.
There is still a chance that tropical storm Isaias could be upgraded into a hurricane before it reaches Delaware.