Tropical Storm Andrea racing northeastward along the eastern seaboard

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- After bringing rains, heavy winds and even tornadoes to parts of Florida, Tropical Storm Andrea moved quickly across south Georgia and was speeding through the Carolinas on Friday morning, promising sloppy commutes and waterlogged vacation getaways through the beginning of the weekend.

The first named storm of the Atlantic season lost some intensity after making landfall Thursday in Florida's Big Bend and its winds were down to 45 mph (75 kph) Friday.

Ben Nelson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Fla., said Andrea was "moving at a pretty brisk pace" and could lose its tropical characteristics Friday.

During the morning rush hour in Charleston, S.C., there was little evidence the center of the storm was passing to the northwest beyond a few downed tree branches, gusty winds and some puddles in the street. The sun occasionally peeked through.

Derrec Becker with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said the storm was moving northeast at nearly 30 mph. Across the state, he said, Andrea has brought nothing more than a severe thunderstorm. No injuries were reported and there had been no reports of significant damage.

The storm was expected to move into North Carolina by midday.

The National Weather Service issued flood watches across much of both states, was well as tornado and flash flood watches in several counties.

Thousands of power outages were also reported.

In South Florida expect increased chances for showers and thunderstorms through Friday.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that three tornadoes struck our area Thursday.

The one that did damage in The Acreage has been classified as an EF-1, with approximately 100 mph winds. It was 50 to 100 yards wide and its path was two miles long.

Another tornado hit Belle Glade at around 3:20 a.m., causing minor damage to trees and power lines and an awning. It was classified as an EF-0.

A third tornado touched down in the Everglades of northern Broward County and southern Palm Beach County around 8:10 a.m. The observed tornado touched down just east of US 27 about 6 miles north of Alligator Alley.

 Meteorologist Steve Weagle contributed to this report.

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UPDATE FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER:

CLICK ON THE LINK FOR THE 11 A.M. TROPICAL STORM ANDREA PUBLIC ADVISORY

Mobile users: http://1.usa.gov/2sMyXt

PHOTOS: Tropical Storm Andrea damage (http://bit.ly/14j02We)


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