Isaias barrels across Virginia on way to U.S. Northeast

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(Reuters) – Tropical Storm Isaias unleashed heavy rain and strong wind across southeastern Virginia on Tuesday, threatening tornadoeson its way north toward major cities of the U.S. Northeast, the National Hurricane said.

The storm had regained hurricane strength on Monday night just before making landfall in southern North Carolina. It later was downgraded to a tropical storm while flooding homes and streets in North Carolina but not causing any immediately reported deaths.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect all the way to Maine, with major cities such as Washington, Philadelphia and New York likely to feel the effects later on Tuesday.

The center of the storm was about 100 miles (160 km) south of Washington as of 8 a.m. (1200 GMT), moving in a northerly direction at 33 miles per hour (54 kph), the hurricane center said.

Isaias blew maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) while threatening to spread tornadoes through midday from southeast Virginia to New Jersey, the hurricane center said.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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