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Irene's lesson in NC: Give a Cat 1 storm its due

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- It's been a year since Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina, and state officials say about 350 families still aren't in their homes.

State officials say Beaufort, Pamlico and Hyde counties suffered the worst damage from Irene, which made landfall Aug. 27 near Cape Lookout. Seven people died in the storm in North Carolina, which caused more than $1.2 billion damage in the state.

And the number of people not back in their homes doesn't include the people still living in damaged homes.

Irene was a Category 1 storm, but it stayed over North Carolina for longer than a hurricane typically does, pushing water into areas that have never suffered hurricane flooding.

Emergency officials say Irene is proof that even a weaker hurricane can cause severe damage.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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