Hurricane Irene has come and gone. While she was here, her outer bands stretched into the Piedmont. Here on the Coastal Plains, we sat inside all day as high winds, and even higher wind gusts, thrashed everything in their path. Large trees toppled over and branches fell. Some on the grass and in the woods, others on houses, knocking out power, and lives. NC officials have spent time and resources preparing the beaches for the upcoming holiday, but inland residents complain they're being forgotten. Three days later, many are still without power.

I couldn't take photos during the storm. Every time I opened the door, a warm blast of wind and rain chased me back. I can only share a few photos that I took before Irene's arrival. Two are of clouds that spun off from Irene's outer bands. The last shows a gorgeous (and untouched) sunset on the eve before the hurricane made landfall.

The storm has wrecked lives and property from the Carolinas to Vermont. Pray for those affected. They need, and appreciate it.

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