Retirement facility keeps residents, evacuees safe during 2-day - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Retirement facility keeps residents, evacuees safe during 2-day power outage

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Magnolia Manor Senior VP of Communications, Steve Vinson (Source: WALB) Magnolia Manor Senior VP of Communications, Steve Vinson (Source: WALB)
Evacuees from Coastal Georgia (Source: Magnolia Manor) Evacuees from Coastal Georgia (Source: Magnolia Manor)
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

A retirement facility in Americus lost power for two days while housing 100 Irma evacuees.

Staff at Magnolia Manor began preparations for a disaster like Irma as early as last year. 

Having experienced Hurricane Matthew, staff had backup generators ready to go. 

Staff was also in close contact with emergency management officials to ensure their residents remained safe. 

Crews raked up the last little bit of storm debris left by Tropical Storm Irma Thursday afternoon. A high priority cleanup for emergency officials.

"It was just a massive effort and yet it worked flawlessly," Senior VP of Communications Steve Vinson said. 

With trees and storm debris scattered throughout Magnolia Manor's main retirement campus in Americus, Vinson explained it didn't take long for first responders to remove it. 

"We had trees fall on power lines here on campus and really wreaked havoc on our electrical system," explained Vinson. 

Fortunately, staff had backup generators, and those came in handy for most of their residents who were at the retirement center, not to mention the 100 evacuees from Richmond Hill, St. Simons Island and St. Marie. 

The staff made sure to keep family members in the loop throughout the entire ordeal, especially after eight residents at a Florida nursing home died without a working air conditioning system.

"It really saddens when we hear that others weren't as fortunate as us to have such a program," said Vinson. 

Staff said they were more than prepared by ensuring medications were ready, medical charts were on hand, and they were prepared to work long hours. 

Vinson said they have a top notch risk management program.

"We're well rehearsed, our staff know how to fall into a routine and whatever happens next we'll be ready for it," explained Vinson.

Power was restored at the facility on Wednesday at 8:50 p.m. 

Magnolia Manor also took in 250 evacuees at the three other South Georgia locations.

The evacuees at all of the campuses boarded buses Thursday afternoon to head back to Coastal Georgia. 

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