Motel evacuated after roof torn off by Florence

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -- Sixty two people were evacuated from a motel after hurricane force winds threatened the structural integrity of the building.

The 62 included an infant, children and their pets. They were taken to the Jacksonville Public Safety Center while a solution is sought for where they can stay.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

About 12:45 a.m., Jacksonville 911 received a call about damage to the Triangle Motor Inn on Wilmington Highway.

A basketball sized hole was found in a corner room by an officer. Firefighters later found life-threatening damage to the structure. Cinder blocks that were part of the structure crumbled in some places and residents were still in many of the rooms.

Hurricane force winds were a challenge and rescuers had to force their way into some rooms.

Portions of the roof collapsed, allowing rain to flood some of the rooms.

Using a host of vehicles, Jacksonville Fire and Emergency Services transported many residents to safety while others drove their own cars with police escorts.

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