08/27/11 — Irene collapses mall roof; city under curfew

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Irene collapses mall roof; city under curfew

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on August 27, 2011 5:15 PM

As Hurricane Irene continues to make its way up the East Coast tonight, Wayne County residents are beginning to take stock of the damage as high winds and heavy rains pounded the area for much of the night Friday and all day today. But all of those on the road looking to escape their darkened houses will have to be back at home in just a few hours as city officials have instituted a curfew tonight.

One of the hardest hit areas in Wayne County is Berkeley Mall in Goldsboro where the roof between the Belk department store mall entrance and the glass atrium collapsed after a straight-line wind knocked a portion of Belk's outside parapet wall over onto the mall's main roof. The mall was closed at the time because of the storm and will now be closed for the forseeable future as city engineers assess the structural damage.

County officials said a countywide curfew, including Goldsboro, Mount Olive, Fremont, Pikeville, Seven Springs and Eureka, has been implemented from 9 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. Sunday morning due to the widespread power outages, downed trees and downed power lines creating hazardous conditions.

"We want to make sure people are off the roads and safe," said Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan.

As of about 8 p.m., nearly 24,000 people were without power in Wayne County.

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