Local News

City Leaders Talk With Scrap Metal Evacuees

Posted February 17, 2008
Updated February 18, 2008

— About 100 people living near Raleigh Metals Recycling talked with city leaders Sunday about the evacuations and sleepless nights they experienced when explosives were found at the facility.

Last week, at least 18 anti-tank projectiles and three 90 mm rifle rounds were dropped off at the 2310 Garner Road plant. As the material was processed Tuesday, at least one of the devices went off, injuring two plant workers.

Munitions experts from Fort Bragg later found unexploded ordnance in the machinery and in bales of scrap. They decided it was safer to detonate the 34 devices at the site rather than move them elsewhere.

Because of the detonations, the city made nearby residents evacuate. The residents were allowed to return home Wednesday and Thursday nights, but were told to be out in the mornings as detonations resumed.

Some residents said Sunday that they were upset that city leaders were not there when the evacuations began.

"We wanted them out here to tell us, to make us feel more like other citizens,” Billy Battle said.

For 55 minutes Sunday, residents voiced their concerns over the evacuations with the mayor, a city council member, two county commission members, the city manager and the police chief.

"Technically, we could have moved them (devices), but these devices were so explosive and so damaging that, rest assured, you did not want us moving them,” Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan said.

Some residents said that in light of what happened last week, they want the recycling plant moved away from their homes.

"I would like to see the place really out of the neighborhood,” Battle said.

Raleigh Metals Recycling's owner said that would not happen, but that he would no longer be accepting any type of used ammunition.

"I'm no longer going to differentiate between spent and unspent. I'm just not going to take any,” Greg Brown said.

Someone sold a load of scrap metal to the plant nearly two weeks ago, and workers didn't recognize the shells as live ammunition, Brown said.

A woman who had to pay for an ambulance to evacuate her mother asked the owner Sunday about getting reimbursed. Brown said he has contacted his insurance company about expenses like that.

"Whatever expenses are appropriate, we'll of course make sure it's compensated,” he said.

The mayor said the city council would be looking into whether rules need to be changed concerning what recycling companies can accept.

Meanwhile, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were holding Javier Gomez-Urieta and Salvador Gomez-Urieta for questioning in the munitions case and on immigration charges.

They are scheduled to be in court Thursday.


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  • bronzegoddess40 Feb 18, 2008

    And further more people who were home during the day were retired folks who have done their time at work and enjoying their retirement. That is the reason they were home, they have put in there 30 years. And depending on where you were at that time, as one reported quoted, the vibrations "shook you too the bone" and after visiting someone who lived very close to the area, I can attest to that. So unless you lived nearby, how dare you say that it was not much noise?

  • bronzegoddess40 Feb 18, 2008

    kursk1488= I beg to differ from you, but do you live in that area at all? Do you live near that area? Unless you live there and could hear and see then I doubt you are an expert on what happened. The only thing that people talked about compensation were a woman that had to transport her mom by ambulance and some one else that had to get a hotel. Also, for your information, there is a magnet elementary school in that area too that services more than kids just the ones that live in that area, in fact a lot of them don't live there. Funny nobody complained when the plant in Apex exploded and people needed help. And lastly, a lot of the folks who attended this meeting have lived in the Biltmore Hills and surrounding areas for many years and are homeowners and are just as concerned about their community and surroundings as anyone else would be.

  • kursk1488 Feb 18, 2008

    They are already asking for money (compensation). These people are crazy. Typical for them to ask for a hand-out!! Complain and whin and cause more problems, thats all they do. Its their fault they live there. If they don't like it, move. The city handled this incident in the proper way. The citizens on the other hand, are not handling it the proper way. The blast weren't that bad and loud. They should have been at work and school during the day anyway while the blasting was going on. They were let back in at night when the blasting stopped, so whats the problem? Gesh. You get enough hand outs folks, do something positive and stop your complaining. And clean up your neighborhoods. Anyone every see how nasty and trashy and ugly these folks yards and homes are? Gesh again. Trash all over the place. They don't care. Go pick up some trash and get to work!

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Feb 18, 2008

    ""The Falls Lake is the only lake below full pool in the area"

    Uh, excuse me. Have you been to Lake Michie lately?"

    Kerr, Jordan, and Gaston are at full pool.

  • ma2345 Feb 18, 2008

    The reason illegals are dropping off live explosives is plain and simple, this scrapyard will buy them. Now is a good time to shut him down. I dont buy any of his BS. Metal recyclers also buy stolen copper and anything else. I have had three $1000 aluminum truck loading planks stolen from my business in the last 10 years. One was stolen during working hours by a truck that was delivering supplies. I went to a local scrap yard. (NOT THIS ONE) but another in the area to look for my dockboard. Just so happened they didnt have mine but they had two dockboards. These people are just crooks in bed with crooks. I suspect these people know exactly what they are buying , STOLEN or not.

  • RTPMedic Feb 18, 2008

    "The Falls Lake is the only lake below full pool in the area"

    Uh, excuse me. Have you been to Lake Michie lately?

    I will agree with you about the water situation being mismanaged though. There was a young lady with either the City of Raleigh or Wake County that predicted these water woes several years ago and they ran her off instead of listening to her.

  • RTPMedic Feb 18, 2008

    Exploding the ordinance there was THE correct thing to do. Would you rather transport it somewhere else past other homes, schools and cars on the road?

    And what are these people complaining about? They wanted the 'mayor there to make them feel more like citizens'? That's plain silly.
    If I have an emergency at or near my home THE LAST PERSON I WANT THERE IS THE MAYOR! I would much rather see the police, fire and EMS responders - DUH!

    Watch, the next thing these people will want is 'a check' or some sort of compensation for being inconvenienced.

    If you don't like where you live - move...

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Feb 18, 2008

    Another case of mis-managing a situation in Meekerville.

    The mismanagement of the Falls Lake water supply is another oops in Meekerville. The city of Raleigh has oversold the watersupply. The Falls Lake is the only lake below full pool in the area.

    Glad Meeker and his Socialist cronies will be voted out in 2009 after they let Raleigh run dry in 2008.

  • PikeMom4real Feb 18, 2008

    Forgive my typo's..Grammar Cops

  • hs84 Feb 18, 2008

    We must be in 2008 because the citizen mentality today is "I've been ________________ so government you owe me (some tax money)". New Zealand looking better every day.