RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – After last week’s U.S. Army training exercise in Raleigh, some neighbors told said on Monday they don’t feel city leaders have done enough to address their concerns about how disruptive and unexpected the event was.
People in the community met with city staff and Raleigh City Councilor David Cox Monday evening at the Green Road Community Center.
“Where we live in Brentwood, right outside the Beltline, we don’t matter to the City of Raleigh,” said Stephanie Lormand. “There’s no reason for us to have to experience urban warfare in Raleigh. There’s just none. The military has a huge budget. They can build themselves an abandoned building somewhere else. They don’t need to come to Raleigh to do that.”
The Army began notifying neighbors Thursday that the training exercise would occur for several hours that night and into Friday morning. It took place at the former Capital Plaza Hotel on Capital Boulevard.
Neighbors took videos of helicopters flying in the area and reported loud booms.
A note that some neighbors received informed them there would be “loud noises, helicopter flyovers, and simulated weapons fire.”
“My expectation what was going to happen was simulated weapon fire. That is not the same thing as simulated bomb explosions,” Lormand said. She added that she believes the community deserves an apology.
Some neighbors said they got no notice the training would occur.
“Obviously, the operation was a lot louder and more disruptive than we expected it to be,” Cox said. “Given the loudness and disruption, certainly not enough people were notified as we thought would have happened.”
Cox said he learned about the training exercise “several weeks ago.” About two weeks ago, he said he got concerned that at that point no one in the community had been notified yet. He said the Army had requested to take the lead on providing notification. The Army didn’t want to do that too far in advance to try to avoid drawing a crowd to the location.
Neighbors who did receive a notification on Thursday said it didn’t prepare them for how intense it would actually be.
“I think it’s highly unlikely that something like this will happen again. Of course, it always depends on who the city manager is at the time, who’s on council at the time,” Cox said.
Cox said he plans to raise the issue at Tuesday’s council meeting.