Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The evacuation of Metropolis Nursing and Rehab Nursing Home Metropolis IL

The evacuation of Metropolis Nursing and Rehab Nursing Home Metropolis IL due to the flooding of the Ohio River.

On the morning of Monday, May 2, 2011, I was watching TV just like I do pretty much every other day. However, on this day, my TV watching was cut short by a knock at the door of my room at Metropolis Nursing & Rehab Center in Metropolis, Illinois. I've been staying there since October 18, 2009 due to my arthritis and impending surgeries.

The person on the other side of the door came in when I acknowledged them. It was Lori Abbott, the activities director and she said that she needed to talk to me. She proceeded to tell me that because of the rising flood waters, the facility was evacuating the residents and that some residents would be going as far as 4 hours north to a “sister facility”. The rest of the day's happenings are kind of a blur, because it happened so fast.

While plans had been in the works for me to return home, we didn't have the equipment there yet. Also, our house doesn't sit too far from the river and we were afraid that I'd be stranded in the house, should the waters get to the house. I immediately called Brett and told him what was going on and he and I thought it would be a good idea to try to get into the facility that my grandfather is living in, located in Marion, Illinois. This facility was already booked because of people being evacuated elsewhere though. My next choice was a facility in Herrin, Illinois so that I would be close to my dad. At first, I thought this was a good idea, but then I got to thinking about the likelihood of my dad coming to see me every day. The likelihood was pretty slim and therefore, wouldn't really know anyone. I finally was able to go to a facility in Effingham, Illinois called Lakeland Nursing Center. This facility is located about 2-1/2 to 3 hours north of Metropolis, and is a “sister facility” to ours and had quite a few residents from MNRC already being relocated to here. Plus, some of the staff was sent along to help with the care of the residents. I thought this was a major plus, because I would be around people that I knew.

All day on Monday, our facility was in a chaotic state with families coming in to take some residents home for what the Administration was saying would only be two to three days and with other residents being put in buses to head to other facilities. Medicines had to be gathered up for each and every resident and clothes and other belongings had to be packed for the resident to take along with them. It was just crazy!

S.M.A.R.T. (Southern Most Area Rural Transit) buses started coming to transport residents at about 4pm and the last one didn't depart the facility until almost 12am on Tuesday. I know this, because I was on that bus. I was a nervous wreck, because I was leaving familiar territory and heading hours from my family, unsure of when I was going to return. I was (and still am) quite proud of myself at how I was able to keep myself halfway calm. Other residents were not that way and who could blame them? Some were being taken from the only place they call “home” and taken to a strange place. The ride on the bus was a quiet one and the driver of the bus was fun and kept things calm for us passengers.

We arrived at our destination at approximately 3:30am and were greeted by all sorts of staff from Lakeland Nursing Center. They had already received some residents from earlier buses and were anxious to help us with our belongings and to help us get settled in to a bed to finally get some sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment