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Tropical Storm Michael speeds toward Atlantic Ocean

In this image made from video and provided by SevereStudios.com, damage from Hurricane Michael is seen in Mexico Beach, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (SevereStudios.com via AP)

Forecasters say Tropical Storm Michael is speeding over the Carolinas on its way to the Atlantic Ocean.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm is moving northeast at 23 mph (37 kph) with top sustained winds have dropped to 50 mph (85 kph).

Forecasters say Michael's heavy rains are causing flash flooding across parts of North Carolina and southern Virginia. Up to 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain could fall in some parts of the the two states.

At 2 p.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Greensboro, North Carolina. It was expected to emerge over the ocean Thursday night.

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