Residents evicted from local motel due to health code violations

Local News

Dozens of people were evicted from the Thunderbird Motel in Savannah this week. The mass eviction was court ordered after the motel failed to meet health code standards. 

Sunday was the last day for residents to pack their belongings and leave. The entrance to the motel has since been blocked off to keep anyone from entering the property.

“A lot of people don’t have no where to go you know this was our last resort,” said a long time resident of the motel.

Many Thunderbird Motel residents are trying to pick of the pieces after a 24-hour eviction notice left many of them homeless.

“I mean I am terrified I lost my mother about a year ago and I lost my father when i was 8 years old and I don’t have any family south of Virginia no one to really turn to,” said Matthew Martin, who has lived at the Thunderbird Motel since September.

Martin isn’t alone. The Thunderbird Motel became a home for many people facing hardships. One long-time resident told News 3 he’s not sure what to do next.

“Leave a lot of stuff and start over,” he said.

Poor and unhealthy living conditions have been ongoing issues for the motel, according to the Department of Health’s latest report.

“David, the owner, I know him pretty good he was trying slowly but surely to get it right it just wasn’t up to the health code, the health department and building inspectors standards,” said the longtime resident.

“The living conditions weren’t necessarily bad it wasn’t the best but I mean for what I was paying it was fair there were bugs and stuff like that but it wasn’t moldy,” said Martin.

Residents were given the option to stay rent free in a local motel for up to one week but, after that, regular room rates apply.

“My rent now is over a hundred dollars more a week than it was so that’s 400 more a month just to survive. I am not sure how I am going to eat later in the week I got to figure this out,” said Martin.

News 3 spoke with David Patel, the owner of the motel. He said since the eviction, he’s been working with the county health department and contractors to remedy any issues.

He tells News 3 that the motel will re-open sometime in the near future.

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