Hurricane Michael could cause tornadoes in Southeast through Thursday morning

Tornado Watch. (NWS)

Officials in South Carolina say they are more concerned about tornadoes than flooding from Hurricane Michael.

The National Weather Service says tornadoes are possible across the Florida Panhandle, southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina through Thursday morning as Michael moves inland.

Beaufort County Emergency Management Division Commander Neil Baxley says the tornadoes can spin up fast with little warning in the rainbands of the weakening hurricane.

South Carolina saw 47 tornadoes in two days in 2004 as Tropical Storm Frances move north from the Florida Panhandle.

Baxley says the 1-to-2-foot (0.3 to 0.6 meter) storm surge predicted for areas like Hilton Head Island isn't even enough to trigger a warning.

Along with tornadoes, forecasters are warning of flash flooding from heavy rain and trees and power lines knocked down by gusty winds.

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