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Bennington BannerIsaias roars in with rain and wind

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BENNINGTON - Tropical Storm Isaias roared into Vermont late Tuesday afternoon, bringing winds that tore down trees and power lines, knocking out power to more than 13,800 customers, mostly in Bennington and Windham counties.

As of 6 p.m., Green Mountain Power reported that 7,231 customers in 10 communities in the Deerfield Valley were without power. The hardest-hit single community in Southern Vermont was Brattleboro, where 2,400 customers lost power. In Bennington County, 455 were without power in Stamford, 254 in Readsboro, 114 in Dorset, 101 in Searsburg, 98 in Winhall, 51 in Bennington and 29 in Manchester. The remaining county towns suffered a dozen outages or fewer.

"We are responding as quickly and safely as possible for customers given the ongoing severe weather," said Mike Burke, chief of field operations for GMP.

GMP said it had been tracking the forecast for this storm and preparing for days. The forecasted track of this storm shifted since Monday morning, bringing a greater threat of damaging winds statewide, as the storm moved further inland.

Elsewhere, at least four people were killed as Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain along the U.S. East Coast after making landfall as a hurricane in North Carolina, where it caused floods and fires that displaced dozens of people.

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Two people died when Isaias spun off a tornado that struck a North Carolina mobile home park. Authorities said two others were killed by falling trees toppled by the storm in Maryland and New York City.

More than 18 hours after coming ashore, Isaias still had sustained top winds of 65 mph. At 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday, the storm's center was about 20 miles west of Albany, N.Y. As Isaias sped northward at 40 mph, the National Hurricane Center warned of flash flood threats in the New York's Hudson River Valley and potential for minor to moderate river flooding elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic region.

Two people died after a tornado demolished several mobile homes in Windsor, N.C. Emergency responders finished searching the wreckage Tuesday afternoon. They found no other casualties, and several people initially feared missing had all been accounted for, said Ron Wesson, chairman of the Bertie County Board of Commissioners. He said about 12 people were hospitalized.

In New York City, a massive tree fell and crushed a van in the Briarwood section of Queens, killing a man inside, police said. A woman in Mechanicsville, Md., died when a tree crashed onto her car during stormy conditions, said Cpl. Julie Yingling of the St. Mary's County sheriff's office.

Isaias toggled between hurricane and tropical storm strength as it churned toward the East Coast. Fueled by warm ocean waters, the storm got a late burst of strength as a rejuvenated hurricane with top sustained winds of 85 mph before coming ashore late Monday near Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.

Before making landfall late Monday, Isaias killed two people in the Caribbean and battered the Bahamas before brushing past Florida.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

A vehicle drives through a flooded section of road along Northside Drive in Bennington early Tuesday evening.



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