MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hurricane Irene is roughly 1,500 miles from Minnesota, but there are people here who are paying close attention to the damage.

The Guthrie family, which is from North Carolina, is in Red Wing, Minn., for a wedding, and they’re hearing stories of extensive flooding and damage in their home state.

“I’m fearful of water that’s close to the house and flooding,” said Mayra Guthrie, who has a home on the North Carolina coastin the direct path of the category one storm.

“I’m worried to death. I’ve got everything I’ve worked for there, and water can destroy it in a heartbeat,” Walter Guthrie said.

With the Guthries far from home, all they could do was watch the storm coverage on the news.

“My wife is a worry wart. It’s good for her not to see what’s going on,” Walter Guthrie said.

By early afternoon, a phone call from their son, who’s still in North Carolina, became their silver lining in this storm. Water only reached the front steps of the Guthrie home.

“My nerves have calmed a little bit,” Mayra Guthrie said.

Irene passed North Carolina by Saturday afternoon, but the storm’s reach stretched far beyond the coastal states. For the Guthries, the big concern now is the flight home.

“I’m hoping everything will be back by the time we return,” Mayra Guthrie said.

Travelers have been told to expect long delays and cancellations. Power is expected to be knocked out along the East Coast for days.


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