Blog: Worst is over for most of NC

Posted August 27, 2011 4:55 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:03 p.m. EDT

Send us your Hurricane Irene photos, videos and stories. They may be added to this blog.

12:30 a.m. – Mandy Gay Hayes, of Rocky Mount, posted this photo to the WRAL Facebook page. She says, "Our cows didn't know what on earth was going on! They had been using the end of the barn as a windblock earlier! I am so thankful that none of them got hurt! They are family to us!"

Cows confused by Irene

11:30 p.m. – Connie Mitchell sent this photo taken at Carolina Beach Saturday, after the worst of Irene had passed.

Carolina Beach

10 p.m. – Les Atkins took this photo of damage to the roof of the Weldon Fire Department in Halifax County.

Weldon fire dept

9:50 p.m. – At least 15,000 people have lost power in Rocky Mount, while flooding and numerous downed trees continue to make travel around the city difficult. The city is in a state of emergency and is asking resident to stay off the roads entirely, so power and rescue crews can do their jobs. 

9:30 p.m. – Meteorologist Mike Maze posted to Facebook this photo of the calm after the storm at Wrightsville Beach.

Calm after storm, Wrightsville

9:02 p.m. – Reporter Erin Hartness says that high tide in Dare County this evening is bringing severe flooding to the Outer Banks, particularly in Kitty Hawk, Roanoke Island, Mann's Harbor and Manteo.

9 p.m. – Paula Salladay posted this image of coastal surge on the sound side near Avon to WRAL's Facebook page.

Sound side storm surge

8:50 p.m. – The National Weather Service has canceled flash flood warnings for much of central and eastern North Carolina as Irene heads northeast of the area.

8:34 p.m. – Progress Energy says it's making progress restoring power to areas where powerful winds have subsided. The utility is reporting that about 206,000 customers are still without power across the state, down from nearly 280,000 at the height of the storm.

8 p.m. – WRAL's Operations Manager Leesa Moore and news photographer Geof Levine took these before and after photos of the Sheraton Pier at Atlantic Beach.


Sheraton pier before


Sheraton pier after

7:40 p.m. – More than 200,000 Progress Energy customers in North Carolina are still without power across the state. New Hanover and Wayne counties are the most severely affected.

6:55 p.m. – Reporter Erin Hartness sent this photo of Dominion power crews working to restore service to more than 85,000 customers near the coast.

Dominion crews

6:45 p.m. – Wayne County is imposing a curfew from 9 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday due to dangerous conditions caused by Irene.

6:43 p.m. – A viewer in Pamlico County reports that the Rivers Edge Campground in Bayorow was destroyed by flood waters.

5:55 p.m. – Reporter Erin Hartness visited the Nags Head Food Lion where winds caused some exterior damage.

Nags Head Food Lion

Nags Head Food Lion

5:50 p.m. – A viewer sent this photo of flooding at the New Bern Mall on Dr. M.L. King Jr. Boulevard in New Bern.

New Bern mall

5:40 p.m. – Reporter Erin Hartness says that winds in Dare County have damaged a Food Lion supermarket in Nags Head and a Ramada Inn in Kill Devil Hills. Downed power lines and several flooded roadways are causing additional problems for residents and first responders. Shipyard Road in Mann's Harbor is completely under water, and N.C. Highway 345 and U.S. Highway 264 are impassable, cutting off access to Wanchese and Stumpy Point.

In Hyde County, trees are down all over, making it impossible for officials to travel around and evaluate damage. N.C. Highway 12 is flooded from Ocracoke Village to Ferry Station. Officials said they've heard reports of major flooding in Scranton and minimum flooding in Swans Quarter and Engelhart.

5:10 p.m. – Reporter Erin Hartness sent this photo of large waves in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks.

Kill Devil Hills

4:43 p.m. – Reporter Amanda Lamb says that power is back on in Wrightsville Beach as Irene retreats toward the north. Access to the island has been reopened.

4:30 p.m. – Steven Leder of Wilson is out in the rain capturing photos and video footage of downed trees, limbs and power lines throughout the area.  

Wilson downed tree

Wilson downed tree

4 p.m. – Ben Huss, owner of the house made famous by the movie "Nights in Rodanthe," talked to WRAL News Saturday afternoon from his home where he was riding out the storm. Huss moved the house back from the ocean's edge about a year ago. 

3:30 p.m. – A 200-year-old tree, the one that residents call the namesake of Red Oak, was downed by the winds of Hurricane Irene. The huge tree fell into Old Carrriage Road, blocking the major artery from Red Oak to Rocky Mount.

Red Oak

2:45 p.m. – Irene brought heavy rain to the East Carolina University campus in Greenville Saturday afternoon. High winds blew out windows in a dormitory, and the street under the trademark bridge was flooded.

Charles Street flooding on ECU campus.

2:33 p.m. – The public information officer for Swan Quarter says that Hyde County community is in the "eye of the storm." All power is out and a major transformer is damaged. 

2:01 p.m. – Part of the roof of the Berkley Mall in Goldsboro has collapsed, City Manager Scott Stevens said. Wendy Thompson Brock, an employee at the Belk store there said everyone got out safely.

1:37 p.m. – The staff at took this picture of Water and Hodges in Oriental, off the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound, near the height of flooding.

Flooding in Oriental

1:33 p.m. – There's some great shell collecting going on at Wrightsville in the wake of Irene, WRAL's Sloane Heffernan reports. Sadly, there's also surprising numbers of dead starfish and crab washed up onshore, too.

1:07 p.m. – A viewer shared this photo of an unusual phenomenon in a hurricane: Water sucked out of the sound in Hatteras Village,waiting for the flooding surge when the wind shifts.

Hatteras Village

12:22 p.m. – A viewer shared this photo of flooding in Vandemere, off the Pamlico Sound.

Vandamere, Hurricane Irene


11:54 a.m. – Hyde County has seen flooding all throughout the county, manager Mazie Smith says. Many residents did evacuate.

11:44 a.m. – Water has breached the levy in Swan Quarter, which saw heavy damage from Hurricane Isabel in 2003.

11:24 a.m. – WRAL's Bryan Mims reports that the Sheraton Hotel pier is getting more damage as the winds are picking up in Atlantic Beach again.

11:06 a.m. – Irene might have created a new inlet on Hatteras Island, between Hatteras and Frisco, says Warren Judge, chair of Dare County Shoreline Management Commission. Some people say it's a breach, while others say it's just overwash. Crews haven't been able to get close enough to check it out.

10:57 a.m. – Here's video of animals trying to get out of the way of Hurricane Irene.

10:50 a.m. – Irene has killed a man in Nash County, the sheriff says. The man was out feeding his animals in Nashville when a tree or branch fell on him.

10:12 a.m. – The National Hurricane Center reports a wind gust of 115 mph at the Cedar Island ferry terminal. That's Category 3 storm strength.

9:56 a.m. – Holden Beach has reopened to the public, and a state of emergency's been lifted. The mayor says the beach strand took a whallop, but the dunes held.

9:52 a.m. – WRAL viewer Ann-Cabell Baum Andersen shared this message and video of flooding along the Neuse River in New Bern:

My brother-in-law is on North Rivershore Drive in New Bern where they're getting hammered right now. His name is Patrick Walsh, and he took the video a few minutes ago.

This was a 300-foot dock before that had a Wahoo 18-foot boat in the lift before the eye moved across.

9:44 a.m. – Gov. Bev Perdue plans to give an update on Hurricane Irene at 10 a.m. Watch LIVE on and WRAL-TV.

9:20 a.m. – Weather conditions vary wildly along the coast. New Bern is under a mandatory curfew until the storm passes. But a curfew will be lifted in Topsail Beach at 10 a.m.

9:18 a.m. – Numerous people have asked to be rescued from rising water in New Bern. Bad conditions might put water rescues on hold.

8:56 a.m. – There are reports of a boat in the middle of the street in Morehead City.

8:17 a.m. – Water's covered N.C. Highway 12 around Rodanthe, Salvo and Waves in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The highway, which links all of the Outer Banks, is closed.

7:49 a.m. – The end of the Bogue Inlet pier has been torn off, according to media reports.

7:47 a.m. – WRAL reporter Michael Charbonneau says he's scrambling to get his car out of rising water in the hotel parking lot in New Bern. He went to bed three hours ago and woke up to find water rising.

7:39 a.m. – Water rescues are reportedly being carried out on Oaks Road in New Bern.

7:30 a.m. – Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout.

7:14 a.m. – WRAL's Bryan Mims has video of the collapsed pier at the Sheraton Hotel pier in Atlantic Beach.

7:12 a.m. – All westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 64 in Columbia in Tyrrell County are closed. Drivers should use extreme caution until road conditions improve.

7:03 a.m. – Hurricane-force winds of 80 mph are smashing into the North Carolina coast, forecasters say.

6:41 a.m. – WITN reports that the Sheraton pier in Atlantic Beach is collapsing. Twitter reports say the 30 yards of the pier have been torn off.

6:29 a.m. – The storm surge has gone up to 7.5 feet new New Bern. That could cause flooding in towns on the western sides of the sounds, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

6:09 a.m. – Twitter reports say that pieces of the Atlantic Beach pier are washing ashore.

6:01 a.m. – Nash General Hospital in Rocky Mount has also lost power and is running on generators.

5:50 a.m. – Irene's eye is about 30 mph southwest of Cape Lookout. It's expected to make landfall near there in the next several hours.

5:28 a.m. – A tree has reportedly fallen on a home in Dudley. Wayne County's getting steady winds over 30 mph.

5:15 a.m. – A New Hanover Emergency Operations spokeswoman told WRAL's Sloane Heffernan: "It's pretty quiet for a hurricane."

5:09 a.m. – A wind gust of 75 mph has been recorded at Cape Hatteras.

5:05 a.m. – WRAL reporter Bryan Mims says that it's getting "ugly" in Atlantic Beach, which has gotten 50 to 60 mph wind gusts. It's pitch black, and 18,000 people are without power in Carteret County.

4:56 a.m. – WRAL News and the National Weather Service have received reports of three possible tornadoes spawned by Irene. An emergency management official says a funnel cloud was spotted in Carolina Beach. The NWS got reports of injuries and damage caused by a tornado along U.S. 64 in Columbia. Earlier, Bellhaven firefighters said a tornado knocked a trailer off its foundation and tore the roof off a car dealership around 11 p.m. Friday.

4:18 a.m. – The New Hanover Emergency Operations Center and 911 Center are operating on a backup generator.

4:12 a.m. - More than 80,000 are without power in North Carolina, including a hospital in Morehead City that is running on generators.

4:05 a.m. – Irene is about 50 mph away from Cape Lookout, with winds up to 90 mph.

4:01 a.m. – Beyond the forecast, YOU help us cover the storm. We're using your photos and tracking Twitter and Facebook for what's going on in your neighborhood.