Thousands of homes were damaged, but in one small area at the north end of Rodanthe, the sound water was particularly brutal.
The water didn't creep into the neighborhood, it gushed in. It tore out the asphalt court, destroyed driveways, chopped utilities, undermined the houses, and left behind a stagnating moat preventing owners and renters from getting to the buildings.
Homeowners like Rich Hollenhorst say Irene was indeed powerful.
But a poorly planned highway department drainage canal is what triggered all this.
The homeowners say the government won't listen. The neighbors have spent thousands each to fix this mess, but what they need to hold the government accountable will cost $10, 000 more dollars.
Their story is tonight night at 5.