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A drenching tropical storm Andrea barrels up eastern seaboard (+video)

The tropical storm, after soaking parts of Florida and Georgia Thursday, was set to spend Friday in North Carolina and points north. Andrea's winds have abated to 45 m.p.h., but flooding, and perhaps tornadoes, remain of concern.

Tropical storm Andrea moves up East Coast
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Tropical-storm warnings remain in effect from South Carolina's central coast to the southern tip of Chesapeake Bay as tropical storm Andrea works its way up the US East Coast.

At 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time the storm was moving into North Carolina. Andrea is packing maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour, with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 160 miles east of the center, according to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Wind speeds in a tropical storm range from 39 m.p.h. to 73 m.p.h. With higher wind speeds, a tropical storm becomes a hurricane.

Although the storm is centered about 55 miles south southwest of Fayetteville, N.C., it is dumping rain from the Carolinas to southern Maine and as far inland as Morgantown, W.Va.

After spinning up in the Gulf of Mexico this week, Andrea's center made landfall at about 5:40 p.m. EDT Thursday, crossing Florida's west cost in the "big bend" section, which joins the peninsula to the panhandle. At landfall, the storm's maximum sustained winds reached 65 m.p.h. But Andrea weakened and by 11 p.m., maximum sustained winds had dropped to 45 m.p.h.

During its encounter with Florida, Andrea triggered at least seven tornadoes – six in Florida and one in North Carolina, according to preliminary reports filed with the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.

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