Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @satchfield

With only a few hours to go before the scheduled implosion of the old Grand Palace Hotel, neighbors packed up and headed out Saturday.

'I just hope it goes along safely. Everybody's got to get out, so, at least they're putting us up somewhere,' said Edward Harang.

The state is footing the bill for transportation, food and lodging for about 130 people who needed assistance.

Late Saturday afternoon, they boarded buses bound for nearby hotels, to steer clear of the implosion and massive dust cloud expected to follow.

Bill Rouselle, President of Bright Moments,has been coordinating the mandatory evacuation, along with state officials.

'Our effort has been to make sure we contacted everybody in this neighborhood, made sure that they had accommodations and provided them with information so they could feel comfortable,' Rouselle said. 'We have to address people's fears and their concerns and we're doing our best to make sure that we do that.'

It's the culmination of months of planning, to protect people and property.

Saturday evening, crews worked to drape a large fabric across one residential building just across the street from the implosion site, in hopes of shielding it from dust particles.

For those who live there, it was a bit of reassuranceas they prepared to leave.

None we talked with seemed too fazed by the situation.

'It's been a very smooth process,' said Anthony Corbett.

Danny Barnes agreed.

'It's not nothing hard on us, you know what I'm saying. Gotta leave for a day and a half. We don't mind that, you know. Putting us in a hotel. So, it'll be over soon,' he said.

Businesses in the immediate area have been asked to adhere to the mandatory evacuation at 2:00 AM Sunday.

The implosion is set for 8:00 AM Sunday.

Read or Share this story: