CHARLESTON, S.C.: The remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl spun off a tornado that destroyed three homes and damaged dozens of others near the North Carolina coast Wednesday as the system sped toward the Atlantic, authorities said.

Between 40 and 50 homes were damaged near Peletier in the western part of Carteret County, said county Emergency Services Director Jo Ann Smith. She said there were no reports of injuries.

Many homes suffered only minor damage, but three were destroyed when the winds came through shortly before noon, she said.

The National Weather Service in Morehead City confirmed Wednesday that a strong EF1 tornado with maximum winds of 110 mph caused the damage.

The remnants of the storm were skimming the North Carolina coast and prompting flood watches in eastern North Carolina. Beryl was expected to gain strength even as it loses its tropical characteristics.

Heavy rains from the storm caused some scattered street and lowland flooding near Wilmington, N.C., as the system approached. Loris., S.C., near the border of the two Carolinas, received more than 3 inches of rain, and radar showed heavy showers along the Interstate 95 corridor in the two states.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Wednesday that Beryl was downgraded to a post-tropical storm.

The hurricane center warned some additional strengthening was expected over the next couple of days.