Tornado plows through Carteret County town

Posted May 30, 2012 3:43 p.m. EDT
Updated May 31, 2012 9:21 a.m. EDT

— A tornado plowed through the town of Peletier in Carteret County Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

It touched down before noon in the southwest section of town near Little Kinston Road.

Tanner Tolston said he was at home when the twister charged toward his house. 

"If it had gone 30 feet to the right, it would have hit the house. The house would be laying on the ground and we would be laying with it," he said.

A portion of his roof was peeled off by the tornadic winds.

The National Weather Service said the strong EF1 tornado, with maximum winds of 110 mph, was spawned by Tropical Depression Beryl as it trudged along the North Carolina coast Wednesday.

About 70 homes were damaged by the cyclone and at least five were destroyed, according to the state Department of Emergency Management. 

In some areas, the ground was littered with limbs, downed trees, power lines and utility poles. Debris also washed into the nearby White Oak River.

The Red Cross Disaster Action Team is going door to door to meet with each affected family and plans to serve dinner for about 200 family members and emergency response personnel Wednesday night.

No injuries were reported.

In central North Carolina, the back edge of Beryl brought heavy rains in many areas, but began moving out of the Triangle by early afternoon, clearing the way for sunny skies and drier conditions.

At the Outer Banks, however, many areas saw flash floods, rough surf and swirling sands as rain and winds whipped through the coastal counties. On Thursday, sunny conditions should return to the coast as high temperatures climb into the mid to upper 80s.