Tropical Storm Ana makes landfall along South Carolina coastline

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Tropical Storm Ana made landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Sunday morning with max winds of 40 miles per hour. (Photo: WHNT News 19)

(CNN) — The first Atlantic tropical storm of the year weakened as it made landfall in South Carolina early Sunday.

It came ashore just north of Myrtle Beach with 45 mph maximum sustained winds at 6 a.m. Eastern, the National Hurricane Center said in a 6:15 a.m. bulletin.

Just hours before, Ana’s maximum sustained winds clocked in at 50 mph, already dropping from Saturday afternoon’s wind speed of 60 mph. The storm is expected to further weaken as it moves over land.

But it is bringing in rain and storm surges.

Ana is forecast to drop 2 to 4 inches of rain — in isolated spots up to 6 inches — over the eastern Carolinas.

During high tide, storm surges were forecast to send 1 to 2 feet of water onto coastal land. Combined with rain, that could cause flooding in low-lying spots, the weather service said.

Beachgoers should take Ana seriously — high rip currents could sweep swimmers on the shores out to sea, and waves are expected to be rough.

Tropical-storm-strength winds — at least 39 mph — extend out over 100 miles from the center of the storm. The weather service’s watch and warning extends from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

The winds could break tree limbs, cause scattered power outages and do minor damage to porches, awnings, carports and sheds, said the NWS Wilmington, North Carolina.

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