Tropical Storm Isaias Topples Trees, Downs Power Lines

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Isaias toppled this tree across Harborton Road on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. A&N Electric Cooperative photo.

By Carol Vaughn —

Tropical Storm Isaias blew through the Eastern Shore quickly Tuesday, toppling trees and leaving thousands of residents without electricity for a time.
The storm brought gusts of over 60 mile per hour to the Shore early Tuesday.
First responders, A&N Electric Cooperative workers, and VDOT workers were were kept busy responding to multiple reports of hazardous conditions — including downed power lines and trees in roadways, transformer fires, and other hazards — in Accomack and Northampton counties as the storm came through.
The Eastern Shore 911 Center processed more than 100 calls for service during the storm, according to Charles R. Pruitt, Accomack County Director of Public Safety.
A&N Electric Cooperative said late Tuesday morning its workers were responding to outages affecting more than 16,000 cooperative members. Most outages were associated with substation issues. The cooperative identified a transmission issue as the primary cause of power outages in Northampton County.
By 2 p.m., the number affected was down to around 9,400, and by Wednesday morning, it was down to around 1,100.
ANEC and VDOT worked through Tuesday night to restore services, Pruitt said.
Accomack’s Emergency Operations Center was open during the storm, but emergency shelters were not used, Pruitt said.
No injuries were reported in Accomack County as result of the storm.
The National Weather Service recorded peak wind gusts between 60 and 70 miles per hour during the storm, with numerous tornadoes reported throughout the region, although not in Accomack and Northampton counties.
The region as a whole was hit hard by the storm with 192,000 outages reported in the Hampton Roads area and 134,000 total reported throughout the Delmarva peninsula, according to A&N Electric Cooperative.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was closed to all traffic for several hours due to high winds. All wind restrictions were lifted at around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The storm surge caused flooding, in particular in low-lying areas on the bayside.
The town of Chincoteague announced Tuesday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed Assateague Island National Park due to storm damage. The park was reopened by mid-day Wednesday.

Storm surge from Isaias floods the Onancock Wharf area around an hour before high tide on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo by Carol Vaughn.
Tropical Storm Isaias toppled this tree on Big Road in Parksley, taking down a power line and causing an electrical outage on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. A&N Electric Cooperative photo.
Isaias brought down this large pine branch in Onancock on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo by Carol Vaughn.
Storm surge from Isaias floods the Onancock Wharf area around an hour before high tide on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo by Carol Vaughn.
Isaias toppled this crepe myrtle tree at the town park in Onancock on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo by Carol Vaughn.
Isaias’ winds damaged this free food pantry in Onancock on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo by Carol Vaughn.
Isaias brought down these large sycamore branches in Onancock on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo by Carol Vaughn.