Explosions heard in Raleigh's Brentwood neighborhood were from military training exercise

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Friday, March 29, 2019
Army exercise rattles Raleigh neighborhood
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Army exercise rattles Raleigh neighborhood.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh residents are rattled after their neighborhood sounded more like a 'war zone' overnight as flash bangs went off and helicopters flew overhead.

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It was all part of a military exercise that was taking place at an abandoned hotel.

But residents told ABC11 they weren't given proper notification.

Police went door-to-door Thursday afternoon to let residents know about the exercise, which was taking place at the Capital Plaza Hotel building on Capital Boulevard.

Members of the Army and the Raleigh SWAT team stormed the hotel around midnight.

Listen to the sounds in the video below:

A woman who lives directly behind the building said her house was shaking from the explosions.

She said her fence blew over and tree branches snapped.

Residents said they were angry that Brentwood of all places was chosen as a training ground.

"In a residential neighborhood, there is absolutely no place for this kind of drama," said Connie Jones. "We spend billions of dollars, of taxpayers money. Fort Bragg is 231 square miles. I have been to facilities at Fort Bragg that are set up as urban combat training zones."

Raleigh City Manager Ruffin Hall said in a statement that the Army generally does not broadly notify the public before such training events to avoid attracting large numbers of spectators.

"City of Raleigh staff were focused on the safety and well-being of the citizens and nearby residents at all times," Hall wrote.

Hall also said that he made the decision to approve the Army's request to conduct the exercise but said, "the exercise turned out to be louder and more disruptive to the nearby neighborhood than the City anticipated given our understanding of the proposed conditions."

Hall said upon review, he "would not approve an exercise of this scale and disruption adjacent to a neighborhood in the future."