Four killed as Isaias pounds US Northeast

Boats were piled up on top of each other as Hurricane Isaias hit the US state of North Carolina.
Boats were piled up on top of each other as Hurricane Isaias hit the US state of North Carolina.

Tropical Storm Isaias has killed at least four people while making its way up the US Atlantic Coast, including two deaths at a North Carolina trailer park struck by a tornado spun off by hurricane-force winds.

The storm knocked out power to more than 2.8 million homes and businesses from New York to North Carolina, according to electric companies.

Isaias, which was briefly a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall in North Carolina late on Monday, reduced the mobile home park in the north of the state to rubble hours later.

"It doesn't look real. It looks like something on TV. There's nothing there," Bertie County Sheriff John Holley told local reporters.

"Vehicles are turned over. Vehicles are piled on top of each other. It's just very sad."

A mother and her two children who were missing for hours after the storm ripped through the area were found safe later on Tuesday.

In Mechanicsville, North Carolina, a large tree fell on a car, killing the driver, the St Mary's County Sheriff's Office said.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Twitter more than 172,000 homes remained without power, even as Isaias moved north and skies cleared.

Cooper said he had spoken with President Donald Trump, who had pledged aid.

A man in the New York City borough of Queens became the fourth fatality when a tree crushed a car he was inside, local authorities said.

Social media images showed tornadoes in Cape May, Marmora and Long Beach Island along New Jersey's southern shore, and tornado damage in Dover, Delaware.

New York City, much of New Jersey, all of Massachusetts and other parts of New England went under a tornado watch. New York state officials temporarily shut down coronavirus testing centers as a precaution.

Australian Associated Press