Florence provides brisk business for local motels

SMITHFIELD–Hurricane Florence has meant no vacancy signs have been posted in most Johnston County hotels and motels. Lodging can’t be found at Smithfield, Selma and Kenly motels.

Most of the motels are filled with utility crew members, coastal evacuees, county emergency management personnel and locals who’ve lost electricity.

“We’ve had a few coastal people,” said Tammy Best, Econo Lodge, Selma. “Utility crews from Duke Energy are also staying here. Everyone has been very friendly.

“Folks have been coming in like crazy,” said Dennis Pilkington, Super 8, Smithfield. “We’ve had people from the coast and locals with no electricity and most have been nice.”

“Everyone’s been very understanding and patient,” said Mike Patel, Best Western of Smithfield. “We’ve had utility crews and even some Coast Guard personnel, along with Johnston County emergency officials. They’ve all been really good to us.”

“We have people from Jacksonville, NC, Goldsboro and Fayetteville staying with us,” said Hema Patel, Red Roof Inn, Kenly. “This has not been a typical weekend but everyone’s been nice.

The only motel with vacancies had a few smoking rooms available.


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