Eliza Talal, 5, was swept away in a creek behind her Pennsylvania home, according to the Towamencin Township Police Department

By Jason Duaine Hahn
August 05, 2020 03:55 PM
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Towamencin Township Police Department

Since making landfall on Monday, Tropical Storm Isaias has knocked out electricity for millions of people living on the East Coast and has reportedly claimed the lives of at least eight people — including a young girl with autism.

According to the Towamencin Township Police Department, 5-year-old Eliza Talal of Pennsylvania was found dead on Wednesday about two miles from her home in Lansdale, located about 33 miles north of Philadelphia.

Eliza had autism and was nonverbal, and went missing early Tuesday afternoon during the peak of the storm, Towamencin Township Chief of Police Tim Dickinson said during a press conference.

The investigation into Eliza's death is ongoing with a partnership with the county's detectives, though no foul play is suspected, Dickinson told reporters on Wednesday.

He said Eliza left her home without her parents' knowledge, and was reported missing once they discovered she was gone. Authorities believe Eliza may have been swept away when the creek behind her home was overrun with floodwater.

"The search continued into today, and unfortunately, around 10:40 today, our worst results came true," Dickinson said, adding that Eliza's body was found by a member of the community.

"Our prayers go out to her family, who have suffered a terrible loss," he added. "Not the result that we were certainly hoping for."

Flooding from Isaias
Sean Rayford/Getty

Elsewhere in the area, at least eight other people have died as a result of the storm, with four of those deaths coming from falling tree branches in Maryland, Connecticut, New York City and Delaware, USA Today reported.

One of those victims was Mario Siles, a 60-year-old man who died in New York City when a tree fell atop his car as he sat inside.

Two other people reportedly died when a tornado swept through their North Carolina mobile home park, while a third person in Pennsylvania died after their vehicle flooded and was swept away.

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According to CNN, Isaias has left more than 3.1 million homes and businesses without power as of early Wednesday, primarily in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont declared a state of emergency and said more than 720,000 residents could be without electricity for days.

"We’re doing everything we can to impress upon them the urgency," Lamont said, according to the Hartford Courant. "I’ve got seniors at home with no electric or no energy, and I’ve got to make sure it’s not for a lack of manpower."

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said nearly 1 million households were still without power as of Wednesday afternoon.

The storm has now been downgraded to a "post-tropical cyclone," and has moved to southeastern Canada, where it is causing heavy rain and winds, CNN reported.

Gusts reaching 67 mph were recorded in Greenwich, Connecticut, while winds measuring 68 mph and 75 mph were detected in Newark Airport in New Jersey and New York's Suffolk County, respectively, the outlet reported. Footage filmed during the storm and posted to social media showed trees being snapped by Isaias' powerful winds.