Knoxville — Zoo Knoxville is offering free admission to residents who have had to evacuate their homes in North and South Carolina due to Hurricane Florence, according to a news release on Thursday.

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Lisa New, the Zoo Knoxville President and CEO,said the Zoo wanted to offer evacuees a brief respite from the storm.

"The uncertainty and disruption that our neighbors in North and South Carolina are dealing with as they take shelter from this storm is unimaginable," she said in the release. "We hope to be a place that can offer them a bit of relief for a few hours."

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Residents staying in the East Tennessee area during evacuation will be asked to present a valid, state-issued ID from North Carolina or South Caroline at the zoo’s ticket window.

For hours and more information about Zoo Knoxville, visit