Tropical Storm Isaias Hits New York City: ‘High Winds, Some Tidal Flooding, And An Increased Threat For Tornadoes’ – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Isaias, once again a tropical storm, has arrived in the Tri-State Area.

Torrential rains descended on the five boroughs as a tornado was reported in New Jersey.

The threat of tornadoes is also present in New York CIty, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

“The most important message right now is everyone take this very seriously. Between the rain, flooding potential, the winds, even then the potential for a tornado – that’s a lot. Don’t go outside if you don’t need to during the high point of the storm. Take it seriously,” the mayor said.

WATCH: Mayor Bill de Blasio Discusses Tropical Storm Isaias Preparations

Emergency management officials are stationing crews in each of the five boroughs to identify problems and coordinate a quick response.

Unprecedented measures are in place to protect Lower Manhattan. Above ground, New York City’s Office of Emergency Management deployed sandbags and so-called “Tiger Dams,” or large water-filled tubes, in the South Street Seaport area. The 4-foot barrier spans nearly a mile long.

De Blasio said Lower Manhattan, between Wall and Water streets, is especially vulnerable to flooding.

TRACKING ISAIAS: Check the latest forecast and weather alerts

“This is really important work that has been done by our agencies, to protect a neighborhood that went through so much with Sandy hit and to show we have all learned some important lessons from that disaster,” the mayor said.

OEM Commissioner Deanne Criswell said that the strongest winds of Tropical Storm Isaias will whip over New York City.

“We will see some sustained winds from 45-55 miles per hour and gusts of up to 75 miles per hour are expected anywhere between noon and 5 p.m. today,” Criswell said.

A tornado watch was in effect for New York City until 4 p.m., and a tornado warning was likely during 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Criswell said. A flash flood watch was in effect, and coastal flood warnings were in place for Staten Island, Brooklyn and southern Queens. Coastal flood advisories were issued for Manhattan and the Bronx.

New York City ferry service was suspended as of 11:30 a.m.

“A quick recap. We expect high winds, some tidal flooding, and an increased threat for tornadoes,” Criswell said.

De Blasio called a tornado warning a “rarity” in New York City that needs to be taken seriously.

“I experienced it in my own neighborhood in Brooklyn in 2007. Literally a tornado came right through our neighborhood, literally tore siding off my house on 11th Street. Cars were destroyed by falling tree limbs, a lot of houses were damaged. This is serious stuff,” the mayor said.

Crews continued to pile up sandbags to help shore up the barrier Tuesday morning.

De Blasio is also urging people to stay away from the beaches. Rip currents were expected.

“Sometimes people think a storm, what a great time to be on the beach, and the dramatic waves. Don’t even think about going in the water. The beaches are closed for a reason. It’s very dangerous in the water under this kind of condition,” he said.

MORE: Closer look at New York City’s flood protection measures

Stick with CBS2, CBSN New York and CBSNewYork.com for the latest on the storm.