Tropical Storm Isaias: Heavy rainfall, flooding potential in New England

As Tropical Storm Isaias hovered off the Florida coast Sunday, New England meteorologists closely monitored the potential flooding and wind impacts here as much of the region remains in the “cone of uncertainty.”

Parts of New England could be in store for heavy rainfall and localized flooding, starting as early as Tuesday afternoon and heading into Wednesday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Alan Dunham.

“Southern New England is in the cone of uncertainty,” he said. “It looks like we’ll see some impact from the tropical storm starting Tuesday.”

For Massachusetts, the heaviest rain is expected to be in the western part of the state, where the region could see about 2 to 4 inches. Isolated locations could receive higher amounts. Eastern Massachusetts could get 1 to 3 inches.

Winds will be in the 30 to 40 mph range, but higher gusts are possible.

Much of the region has been in a drought this summer.

“Rainfall would definitely be beneficial, but a heavy amount over a short period of time will runoff instead of soaking into the ground,” Dunham said.

While models show the tropical storm shifting west and weakening over land, potential flooding remains a concern, said Shawn Kelley of Mill City Weather.

“We’re in a drought, and when that much rain falls quickly, the ground can’t absorb all that water so that causes some flooding issues,” he said.

Isolated spots in the region could see 5 to 6 inches, he said.

Also, any wind gusts over 40 mph can take down trees, which can trigger power outages, Kelley said.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency tweeted over the weekend, “We continue to monitor #Isaias & take actions to prepare for potential impacts. Impacts will depend on track/intensity, but may include heavy rain & flooding, strong winds, and storm surge.”

The Brockton Fire Department tweeted on Sunday, “Isaias is hitting the southern east coast states. Current forecast for the Brockton Area will include high winds and rain. Do you have a Emergency Kit? If not think about building one today.”

An emergency kit should include a variety of supplies to help sustain you and your family for up to three days, MEMA’s website states.

These items include: bottled water, nonperishable foods, a manual can opener, battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, prescription medications, personal hygiene items and a first-aid kit. Additional items for the emergency kit during the coronavirus pandemic include masks, disinfectants, hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies.


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