Virginia Residents: God Intervened in Irene

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VIRGINA BEACH, Va. -- Nearly 250,000 homes were still without power Monday, thanks to Hurricane Irene's incredible wind and water.

The storm took the lives of four people in Virginia, including an 11-year-old boy killed when a tree crashed into his apartment home Saturday.

When Irene struck with all its might, the waves were coming in close to the famous Virginia Beach boardwalk and the wind gusts were from 40 to 50 miles-per-hour.

The winds eventually topped 60 mph, making the Atlantic Ocean look like a boiling cauldron and snapping trees both young and old farther inland. The strong winds also took the downtown Virginia Beach ferris wheel for a ride.

The sun re-emerged Sunday, bringing with it relief from both the winds and the rain.

It was an answer to prayer for many people like Pastor Ken Gerry of the New Life Christian Center who had prepared for the worst while hoping for the best.

"God intervened with this. We were just praying that the storm would disorganize, dissipate, weaken," he told CBN News.

Authorities in southeastern Virginia had ordered some neighborhoods to evacuate, including one in Norfolk. However, Irene brought only minimal flooding and minor damage.

A volunteer team with Operation Blessing International spent part of Sunday morning removing the tree that fell on one car. There were trees blown down and storm debris scattered across the region.

Despite the mess, there was relief on the part of those who had prepared for extensive damage.

"With Operation Blessing, what we do is pray and believe and hope for the best so for us. It's prayers answered," said Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of U.S. Disaster Relief for the charity aid organization.

For Virginia Beach tourists, it's now back to the business at hand. Their fun in the surf and sand is making it hard to believe that Irene was a recent visitor here.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.