Police evacuate Jacksonville hotel after finding basketball-size hole, collapsed roof

Several dozen people evacuated a Jacksonville hotel Friday morning after winds from Hurricane Florence caused “life-threatening damage” to the Triangle Motor Inn.

City officials posted on Facebook that 62 people, including an infant, children and pets, were taken to the Jacksonville Center for Public Safety after the building at 246 Wilmington Highway was damaged around 12:45 a.m.

No one was injured, city officials said.

“A basketball sized hole was found in a corner room by an Officer,” officials said. “Firefighters later found life-threatening damage to the structure. Cinder blocks that were part of the structure were crumbling in some places and residents were still in many of the rooms.”

Jacksonville hotel
The Triangle Motor Inn, at 246 Wilmington Highway in Jacksonville, was seriously damaged by winds from Hurricane Florence early Friday, forcing several dozen guests to evacuate. Google Street View Contributed

Police and firefighters who responded to the call had to force their way into some of the rooms, and the roof had collapsed in some places, they said. Winds were gusting between 68 mph and 75 mph during the evacuation, they said.

The city is helping those who left the hotel find shelter.

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