Hurricane Florence latest: Nursing homes in South and North Carolina as NHC downgrade | World | News
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster called for a “mandatory evacuation” of all nursing homes on the projected path of Hurricane Florence on Monday.
All 32 nursing and assisted-living compounds along the state’s coast have since been evacuated.
Evacuations are also taking place at nursing homes in North Carolina.
One nursing home, Heritage Place in Fayetteville, evacuated on Thursday morning.
Those moved to safety included Roger Thornhill, a 96-year-old war hero who fought in the Second World War.
Referring to hurricanes he said: “I’ve been through them all. This is the worst one yet.”
However, moving frail residents can be risky for their health.
Randy Lee, president of the South Carolina Health Care Association, said that in his facility they “have residents who have not left the building in 10 years”.
He added: “This could be very traumatic for them.”
He said the storm was the first time he’s been aware of so many nursing home residents being moved in one go.
However, some nursing facilities are choosing to remain in place.
They include Davis Community assisted living facility in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The facility’s CEO, Charles Long, said: “We may get stuck on the bus in traffic and it would be very difficult to care for them.
“That’s why we have made the decision to enhance our emergency services on site, stay on site, re-evaluate after the storm and then leave if we need to.”
Diresha Rush, a practical nurse at the facility, told ABC 11 News she would remain in place to care for the residents.
She explained: “These people’s loved ones are counting on me to be here and take care of their loved ones through this.
“Make sure they’re safe and that they make it out of this.”