Tracking the Tropics: Isaias continues to strengthen ahead of landfall

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Isaias strengthened into a hurricane again Monday night ahead of its landfall. Its maximum sustained winds went from 70 mph at 5 p.m. to 85 mph by 9 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane Isaias was about 60 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina, and about 60 miles south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as of 8 p.m. The storm was moving north-northeast at 18 mph, the NHC said, which was up from the 13 mph movement Monday afternoon.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.

Isaias will remain east of the South Carolina coast before making landfall on the South Carolina coast just before midnight, NHC said.

A tornado watch was issued for Sampson County at 5 p.m.

Areas just east of the Interstate 95 corridor are forecast to receive the most rain — more than 6 in some parts — as the center of the storm will pass through the area.

Fayetteville and Cumberland County could see more than 5 inches of rain. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the area of the William O Huske Lock on the Cape Fear River – which is located just off Highway 87 south of Fayetteville.

A flash flood watch has been issued for much of central North Carolina because of heavy rainfall possible from the storm.

It remains in effect until Tuesday at 2 p.m.

As of 9 p.m., 30 counties in central, eastern, and coastal North Carolina were under a tornado watch.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Surf City, North Carolina.

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