Friday marks the official start to the 2012 hurricane season. While many are thinking about what could happen this season, some residents in Pamlico county are still dealing with what did happen last year.
August 27, 2011 Hurricane Irene pounded Eastern Carolina leaving behind a path of destruction. Debra Thomas says she will never forget that day because it changed her life forever.
"You couldn't even see the fence. It was over five feet of water you couldn't even see the fence, it was like a river. Something you don't ever want to go through again," said Thomas.
Her home on Lowland Road in Pamlico County was destroyed by Irene. Now nearly nine months later she is still working to rebuild. She is getting help from volunteer groups including "8 Days Of Hope." Thomas, like many others in the area, decided to have her home lifted off the ground to hopefully prevent future flooding. Still, she thinks it will be another year until everything is complete.
As she looks to the beginning of the 2012 hurricane season, she is worried. "The storm this past week was scary, even though you're off the ground, you still have to worry about the winds," she says.
Emergency Manager of Pamlico County, Chris Murray, says last year was tough for the hundreds of people in the county impacted by Irene. He hopes people will prepare for this hurricane season now.
"I think Irene was a wake up call for everyone and hopefully folks took a note of that know now to take an earlier action," says Murray. He also says plan your evacuation route, what you are going to do with your pets and have a hurricane kit ready.
Murray estimates 600 homes in Pamlico County were destroyed by Irene.