The National Weather Service said it's likely at least two tornadoes touched down in Delaware as Tropical Storm Isaias slammed the region, claiming at least one life.


Delaware State Police said they believe a Milford woman died in Tuesday's storms. Her cause of death remains under investigation, but police said they don't suspect foul play.

At the height of the storm, Delaware Electric Cooperative saw 23,400 outages.

"It's resulting from buildings blowing into our lines. Trees falling into the lines knocking poles down and it's been tornado-like activity and tornado-like damage where it touches down, knocks some trees and then it's gone. Very short period of time, and it's very widespread right at this point in time."

By late Tuesday night, outages had fallen to 1,571.

More than 56,000 Delmarva Power customers were also without power at the height of the storm. By Tuesday night, just 1,392 Delmarva Power customers were still in the dark. 

Possible tornadoes were seen in Sandtown, Kent County and in Smyrna and Dover as well as near Tuckahoe, New Jersey;  another confirmed tornado was reported in neighboring Maryland Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said.

"It's possible a tornado touched down here in the Dover area. A lot of trees and wires down, telephone poles down which has significantly impacted our operations here, but also traffic throughout the city of Dover," said Dover Police Department's Mark Hoffman. "Based on the damage--and certainly I'm no expert--but it would certainly appear that we had a tornado touch down here."

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Storm damage in Dover.

Tornado warnings in parts of Sussex County, Delaware, and in parts of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania expired.

"Due to Tropical Storm Isaias, Rt. 9/River Road will be closed at Army Creek," said Captain Tina Shughart of the New Castle City Police Department. "Vehicles will not be able to travel southbound on Rt. 9 from Dobbinsville or northbound from Grantham Lane. Jersey barriers will be blocking the roadway."

Isaias was downgraded from hurricane strength after it made landfall Monday night in the Carolinas. The storm still packed 70 mph winds and heavy rain as it moved north near the Maryland-Virginia border around 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Flash flooding is a greater concern in Pennsylvania, while damaging winds gusts are more likely in Delaware and New Jersey. Inches of rain fell over a prolonged period of time.


Avoid going out on the roads if you don't need to as heavy rain could quickly cause flooding. Route 309 southbound Some SEPTA Regional Rail trains were delayed by up to 45 minutes. DART has suspended New Castle County service due to the ongoing storm. 

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a State of Emergency for New Jersey Monday night ahead of Isaias.

Tropical storm warnings were already in effect Monday for area counties in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The risk of flash flooding, damaging wind and heavy downpours spreads to the entire region, including the northern and western suburbs.

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Utility pole shattered in Middletown

Rain could fall at 1 to 3 inches per hour during the heaviest rain bands expected late morning into the early afternoon. Widespread street, urban and stream flooding is expected from the heavy rain.

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Zak Schindler shares what he believes to be an image of the eye of Isaias over Pike Creek, saying: 

"Thought this may be interesting, was only visible for about a minute at my location, then covered again by clouds."

Isaias is moving in from the south. The most widespread impact is expected to be flash flooding with 3 to 6-plus inches of rain likely across the area, with locally higher amounts in heavier rain bands. Some places could get 8 inches or more of drenching rain.

Widespread flooding was reported Tuesday. Areas prone to flood, like the Brandywine Creek, face a big threat of flooding Tuesday.

In addition to heavy rain and strong wind, the coast will also experience dangerous rip currents and coastal flooding. The severity of the coastal flooding is still uncertain, but at least minor coastal flooding at high tide is possible Tuesday and Tuesday evening. Once the storm track is more certain, we will have a better idea if coastal flooding becomes a bigger concern. A dangerously high risk for rip currents is in effect Tuesday.

As of Monday night, Isaias made landfall in North Carolina with strong winds and heavy rainfall.


Isaias moved quickly past our area with conditions dramatically improving by late Tuesday afternoon.

Sunshine and pleasant weather return Wednesday and Thursday with highs in the 80s, though there is a rain risk on Thursday.


NBC10 contributed to this report.

TrafficWatch & News Reporter for WDEL/WSTW 1989 - 1993 and back again for Round Two starting in February, 2015 after spending a decade in Chicago and another six years in Boston.