Tree falls on historic Carolina Inn on UNC’s campus

Tree falls on historic Carolina Inn on UNC’s campus
Those inside the Carolina Inn said the entire building shook when the tree came down as Tropical Storm Michael hit the region. (Photo by Richard Essex | CBS 17.)

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WNCN) - A tree fell Thursday, hitting a historical building on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's campus.

Those inside the Carolina Inn said the entire building shook when the tree came down as Tropical Storm Michael hit the region.

It didn’t seem to disrupt normal operations, though. CBS 17′s Colleen Quigley reported that there was still a dinner going on inside around 7:15 p.m.

"As I was pulling into the hotel to check in this evening, I was at the stoplight," said witness Lee Godwin. "I could see the wind blowing. All the trees were rustling. I thought to myself, 'One of these trees is going down.' Immediately, when I thought that, it happened.

"I think the Carolina Inn is very lucky because, the way that it fell, it just clipped the edge of the roof. It could have been so much worse. No one was out on the porch, obviously, because the weather was so severe."

No one was injured.

The inn sustained slight structural damage to the area above the front porch, inn officials said.

"You could actually feel the building shake," one guest said.

"I could literally see it in slow motion. It was happening and it was very scary," Godwin said.

There was no damage to any guest rooms. Inn officials said they plan to have the tree removed 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. Friday.

The Carolina Inn is planning to have a party on the front porch and have everything cleared in time for the UNC home football game.

According to the inn’s website, it was built in 1924 and was gifted to UNC in 1935 under the stipulation that all profits were to be used to support the university’s library.

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