Officials estimate that swells from the Neuse River have destroyed 20 to 25 houses in a Craven County neighborhood.
Harlowe Volunteer Fire Chief Jeremy Brown says 10-foot swells from the Neuse River broke on top of houses as Hurricane Irene stayed over North Carolina for hours. Brown says the number may increase since reports of destruction were stilling coming in Sunday. Some of the destroyed homes had been rebuilt after Isabel in 2003.
The fire department rescued people from three or four houses Saturday, getting help from the National Guard and swift water rescue teams from Hendersonville.
He says most people evacuated before the storm, but others stayed because they didn't think they were in danger.