The storm, which had briefly weakened to a tropical storm, poses an immediate threat to a stretch of coastline that includes the SC tourist resort of Myrtle Beach and the North Carolina port city of Wilmington.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expect Isaias to restrengthen into a hurricane off the SC coast later today and the storm could make landfall in the Myrtle Beach region tonight.
Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency for the state for Tropical Storm Isaias, which is barrelling up the East Coast on Tuesday.
Storm surges, when a storm pushes tidal levels above normal, of up to 4 feet (1.22 metres), and flooding also threatened some of the areas in Isaias' path, forecasters said.
About 80 miles north of Ocean Isle Beach, roughly 30 people were displaced due to a fire at a condominium complex in Surf City, news outlets reported. Power outages were expected.
In flooding situations, they say not go into high waters and avoid areas prone to sudden flooding.
As of Monday evening and Tuesday morning, an estimated 100 million people were under tropical storm warnings and watches, stretching from the Carolinas to Maine.
Isaias could bring 3 to 6 inches of rain to the Carolinas and into the mid-Atlantic states, and 2 to 4 inches will be possible in southeast NY and into New England, the hurricane center said.
"Of all the places it could be, it found the warmest water it could", which fuels storm development, McNoldy said.
In Florida, officials already closed several major areas, including beaches, parks and testing sites for COVID-19, said the report. Officials lashed signs to palm trees so they wouldn't blow away.
Isaias caused destruction and two deaths as it uprooted trees, destroyed crops and homes and caused widespread flooding and small landslides in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. "Let's keep each other safe from the wind and water, as well as from the virus", Cooper said.
A satellite image from September 2019 of Tropical Storm Dorian.