Weather forecasters issued a tropical storm warning for the tri-state area on Monday, with the worst of the conditions expected to hit the Big Apple early on Tuesday.
New Yorkers could be hit with between 2 and 4 inches of rain, while gusts of wind may reach speeds of up to 70 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Battery Park, Harlem and Central Park are among the areas expected to be hit hardest by the storm, the service added. It forecast that torrential rain could result in flash flooding of up 2ft in surge-prone areas.
Long Island, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut are also expected to experience heavy rain and wind.
Storm Isaias was forecast to become a hurricane on Monday as it neared landfall in the Carolinas, after bands of heavy rain from the tropical storm lashed Florida’s east coast.
Residents there reported power cuts while authorities closed beaches, parks and virus testing sites, attaching signs to palm trees so they would not take flight in the wind.
“We are forecasting it to become a hurricane before it reaches the coast this evening,” senior hurricane specialist Daniel Brown said.
“It’s forecast to produce a dangerous storm surge, of 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) in portions of North and South Carolina,” added Brown.
Forecasters said Isaias was still centred east of Jacksonville, Florida, and 280 miles (455 km) south-southwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but was steadily heading north.
Isaias caused destruction and two deaths as it uprooted trees, destroyed crops and homes and caused widespread flooding and small landslides in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico over the weekend.
One man died in the Dominican Republic. In Puerto Rico, the National Guard rescued at least 35 people from floods that swept away one woman, whose body was recovered Saturday.
Additional reporting by Associated Press