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Watches, warnings posted ahead of severe weather threat

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CHARLOTTE (AP) -- The National Weather Service has issued a series of watches and warnings for North Carolina and South Carolina in advance of a system forecast to bring severe weather to the two states.

A tornado watch was posted Wednesday afternoon for Cherokee and Clay counties in western North Carolina until 7 p.m. A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect until 10 p.m. for 49 counties west of Interstate 95.

In South Carolina, a severe thunderstorm watch was posted for 14 counties in the Upstate of South Carolina and is in effect until 10 p.m.

A spring-like storm system spawned tornadoes that destroyed more than 100 homes and killed three people in the central U.S. before it rumbled toward the East Coast on Wednesday.

The system is expected to cross into eastern N.C. late tonight and early Thursday morning and be off the coast by sunrise.

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