According to the 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, the storm was slightly stronger as it continued to sweep the East Coast with maximum sustained winds at 50 mph.
It is moving to the northeast at 21 mph.
The center was located about 125 miles from Norfolk.
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Rain from Tropical Storm Elsa arrived Thursday morning as predicted by the ABC11 First Alert Weather Team.
Elsa continues to bring very heavy rain and strong, gusty winds to parts of the mid-Atlantic.
Elsa was predicted to dump between 1-3 inches of rain (with isolated areas getting as much as 6 inches of rainfall) in central North Carolina and bring wind gusts as strong as 50 miles per hour in spots.
Lumberton saw a new record of 2.05 inches of rainfall due to a tropical storm.
The storm also toppled trees and knocked out power in some places in North Carolina. Click here for local storm damage updates.
Elsa was expected to pass near the eastern mid-Atlantic states by Thursday night and move near or over the northeastern United States on Friday.
Some re-strengthening was possible Thursday night and Friday while the system moves close to the northeastern United States.
A tropical storm warning was in effect north of Great Egg Inlet, New Jersey to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and for the coast of Long Island from East Rockaway Inlet to the eastern tip along the south shore and from Port Jefferson Harbor eastward on the north shore. A warning was also in effect from New Haven, Connecticut to Merrimack River, Massachusetts including Cape Cod, Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.
There was a chance Long Island in New York would see sustained tropical storm-force winds late Thursday night and into Friday morning, the National Weather Service in New York warned.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.