RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Cleanup efforts started early Saturday morning after Hurricane Ian brought heavy rain and strong winds to our region on Friday.

Trees in roads, downed power lines, and debris left on sidewalks were just some of the things North Carolinians experienced.

“We saw some very strong winds come through the triangle, and Wake County was the hardest county hit in the state,” Jeff Brooks, a spokesman with Duke Energy, said.

Those strong winds left thousands of people without power, many of them seeing the damage outside of their homes in daylight for the first time Saturday morning.

Duke Energy had crews out during the storm, but Saturday brought a new set of challenges as they focused on heavy-traffic areas, like Six Forks Road and New Bern Avenue. One crew was also seen working near Peace Street.

“Now they’re getting into the really hard repairs, the trees that have to be removed from lines, poles repaired, lines repaired, and that’s going to take a lot of people, a lot of time,” Brooks said.

Some neighbors took to social media to express frustration, wondering when their power would be restored, but neighbors we spoke with said they were being patient.

“We’ve been through it before,” Richard Homovec said. “It’s just part of nature.”

Duke Energy was appreciative of that patience, as crews worked to get the lights back on.

“It’s going to take time, there’s a lot of locations that have a lot of downed trees, a lot of poles and wires, and that all has to be rebuilt,” Brooks said.

Duke Energy says out-of-state crews also flocked to Raleigh on Friday to be prepared to help on Saturday and in the coming days as those cleanup efforts continue.