Pollen invades Raleigh, residents embrace it

Posted March 22, 2012 6:56 p.m. EDT
Updated March 22, 2012 7:10 p.m. EDT

— There's no escaping it.

Pollen is taking over Raleigh, and with North Carolina having one of the highest pollen counts in the nation on Thursday, just about everyone seems to be talking about it.

But with the beautiful weather over the past few days, some, like Renee Williams, say it's easier to embrace it.

Williams grew up in the South, and although it's not pleasant, she said the yellow dust won't keep her or her friends inside.

"You've got to be outside anyway. You've got to learn to deal with it, and I'm not going to give up a beautiful day just because of pollen," she said.

Raleigh isn't alone.

The pollen – mostly from trees – has arrived early this year, and it's off the charts across the South and the Midwest, thanks largely to an unusually warm winter.

According to, the level in Raleigh Thursday was 9.7 out of 12 on the allergy index. Friday and Sunday were also forecast as being high.

Dana Malloy says she's not bothering to wash her car, but she's had to dust the house more often since the start of spring.

"I was looking out my back door yesterday, and I saw this big green cloud coming toward me, and I had to slam the door before it could get in the house," she said.

Jerome Brown said he had to drive through a cloud of pollen on his way to Lake Johnson.

"It was like a thick fog," he said. "I know it's not fog, but you can see the little particles in the air when you're coming down the hill. It's like mist."

Natives know, it's a spring-time ritual, and they simply wait for Mother Nature to shower it away.