Beach Residents Soak Up Sunshine Before Irene

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Mandatory evacuations ahead of Hurricane Irene are in effect for parts of Virginia, including areas just a few miles from CBN studios.

At least 65 million people on the eastern seaboard are closely following Irene's path as the Texas-sized storm prepares to make landfall in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Some residents in nearby Sandbridge were on the beach enjoying a few more hours of clear skies.

Sandbridge is between the Virginia Beach and North Carolina line, and a mandatory evacuation is underway. Officials believe a large storm surge could cut Sandbridge off from the mainland.

To the north, the Virginia Beach oceanfront hosts thousands of tourists, who are also being evacuated.

But despite the warnings, some local residents were out enjoying the last moments of sun and waves before Irene bears down.

"I gotta go back to my house today, and we're gonna board windows up and, you know, just to get everything inside and hope for the best," said Chesapeake resident Chris Craig.

When asked why she was at the oceanfront despite a mandatory evacuation, local teacher Kathy Doren said "Because it's Friday. It's my last Friday of summer."

"I go back to work in the Chesapeake Public Schools on Monday," she explained.

Before it's all over, Hurricane Irene is expected to hit communities from South Carolina to Maine, and leave a trail of devastation likely to cost billions of dollars to repair.

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