Tropical Storm Andrea pounds Florida

2013-06-07 09:01
The High Hazard surf warning flag flies in front of Atlantic Beach, Florida. (The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack/ AP)

The High Hazard surf warning flag flies in front of Atlantic Beach, Florida. (The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack/ AP)

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Miami — The first named storm of the Atlantic season hammered Florida with rain, heavy winds, and tornadoes on Thursday as it moved toward the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas, promising sloppy commutes and waterlogged vacation getaways through the beginning of the weekend.

Tropical Storm Andrea was losing speed late on Thursday and not expected to strengthen into a hurricane but forecasters warned it could cause isolated flooding and storm surge over the next two days.

Tropical storm warnings were in effect late on Thursday for the East Coast from Flagler Beach, Florida, to Cape Charles Light in Virginia, the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds and the lower Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere inside the warning area within a day and a half. A warning for Florida's west coast was lifted late on Thursday, but forecasters advised that heavy rains were continuing well away from the storm's centre.

As of 11 p.m. EDT on Thursday, the US National Hurricane Centre in Miami said Andrea was about 64km west of Jacksonville, having made landfall hours earlier in Florida's Big Bend area. Andrea's maximum sustained winds had fallen to 72km/h and it was moving northeast at 24km/h.

Rains and winds from the storm were forecast to sweep northward along the Southeastern US coast on Thursday night and Friday. The storm was expected to lose tropical characteristics on Friday night as it moves through the eastern United States.

Read more on:    us  |  weather

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