Irene leaves its mark on Weldon church, firehouse

Posted August 28, 2011 10:53 p.m. EDT
Updated August 29, 2011 10:02 a.m. EDT

— As Hurricane Irene plowed north Saturday evening, leaving North Carolina in its wake, it left a mark on several communities along the Interstate 95 corridor, near the Virginia border.

Custodian Carolyn Clay has been cleaning up at the Evangelistic Church of Deliverance in Weldon for more than 30 years. On Sunday morning, she found a much larger mess than usual.

"It's a disaster. It'll be awhile before I can clean up this church again," Clay said.

The storm ripped off part of the roof, opening the ceiling to Irene's wet wind and rain, and letting water, insulation and dry wall rush inside.

Most of the roof fell into the road next to the church, but some of it landed on the roof of a Weldon fire station. No one was injured. In fact, all of the firefighters and trucks were out on calls at the time.

"We ran 30 calls yesterday," said Weldon Fire Chief Rusty Bolt, "We had trees down everywhere, people blocked in driveways."

Bolt said that crews were busy again on Sunday all over Weldon and in neighboring Roanoke Rapids clearing downed trees and power lines.

Once the clean-up is complete, Bolt will turn his attention to repairs at a different Weldon fire station, where winds scattered pieces of the roof into the street.

"A lot of metal trusses are bent. It's uninhabitable right now," he said.