TIFTON, GA (WALB) - Several organizations in Southwest Georgia stepped up to provide shelter for hundreds of Irma evacuees
Staff was initially afraid that they would run into heavy traffic, but they ended up having a smooth evacuation Friday afternoon.
"The beds are comfortable? Yeah, I been here before. Did you like it here last year? Yeah. Well, we're glad to have you this year," Rehab Center of South Georgia Administrator, Jason Gerard, said to evacuee Ms. Sistrunk.
For the second straight year in a row, Ms. Sistrunk was ordered to leave the Sears Manor Rehab Center in Brunswick, Georgia.
"I was at a church and it was real nice people there," Sistrunk explained.
This hurricane season, the 61-year-old and 70 others evacuated to the Rehab Center of South Georgia ahead of Hurricane Irma.
"I feel comfortable with the staff, there's no problem with the staff, they're professionals," Sistrunk remarked.
They arrived around 1:30 p.m., some were on stretchers in ambulances.
But the majority were on two tour buses.
"They're already familiar with it, they know how welcoming and how homely feeling that it is here," Sears Manor Rehab Resident Services Coordinator Donna Turner.
Providing that sense of comfort was extremely important to Turner.
She said 45 staff members along with families and their pets hit the road with the patients.
"That's why they called us and said can we come back. I think they got good care last time they were here," Gerard explained.
So much so, that many evacuees think they're on vacation.
Boxes of pizza on Friday, and more meals provided in the coming days.
And for folks at the Rehab Center of South Georgia, Gerard said helping out fellow Georgians was just something you do.
"When someone is hurt you need to help them that's the business that we're in," Gerard explained.
"Y'all are fantastic to us," said Turner.
Staff said the center was at full capacity as of right now.
The evacuees from Brunswick will stay at the Rehab Center of South Georgia through Tuesday.
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