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East Coast on alert for tornadoes as Memorial Day weekend begins

Chad Warpinski / EyeEm/ Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- The East Coast is bracing for flooding and tornadoes as Memorial Day weekend begins.

A tornado watch was issued Friday from North Carolina to Virginia to Maryland. The tornado watch includes the cities of Raleigh, Richmond, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Significant storm damage has been reported in parts of Bedford County, Virginia, after severe thunderstorms rolled through. It hasn't yet been determined if the damage was from a tornado or powerful wind gusts.

Friday afternoon and evening, strong storms will stretch from New York City to the Carolinas, bringing a threat of damaging winds, blinding downpours, flash flooding and more tornadoes.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for parts of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and the Philadelphia area.

Flood watches are in effect from Virginia to New Jersey, including D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia.

The Heartland could also see severe weather this holiday weekend.

Damaging winds, huge hail and tornadoes are possible from Oklahoma to Nebraska to Minnesota to Wisconsin.

This severe weather could disrupt Memorial Day travel.

About 39.2 million people are expected to hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend -- up 8.3% from last year, according to AAA.

More than 12.4 million people are expected to fly between May 26 and May 30, according to online travel-booking platform Hopper.

ABC News' Amanda Maile contributed to this report.

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