Motorists travel out of the Charleston area in South Carolina on I-26, as Hurricane Dorian threatens the coast, on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. Lanes were reversed for evacuating. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP)
A South Carolina retirement community is evacuating to the Birmingham area ahead of Hurricane Dorian, and organizers are asking for donations to help them.
About 90 residents and 30 employees of the Somerby Mount Pleasant community, based in Charleston suburb Mt. Pleasant, left at about 7 a.m. EST today for the Birmingham area. They were scheduled to arrive by mid-afternoon.
The Charleston area is currently under a hurricane warning from Dorian, which devastated the Bahamas before turning north. It is expected to scrub the East Coast, bringing Category 1 hurricane force winds to the Charleston area, according to the National Weather Service. In addition, a possible storm surge of four to seven feet above ground is predicted for risk areas through Saturday.
The residents will be staying at a hotel in the Birmingham area, Kimberly Stanford, a vice president for marketing and advertising with Somerby Senior Living said. They hope to return once the evacuation order lifts.
Sheryl Klein, senior vice president of operations for parent company Bridge Senior Living, said the same community evacuated last year, according to its existing plan.
We take it to the next level when something like this happens, Klein said. We want the experience for our residents to be a vacation versus an evacuation. Residents, staff, families, sometimes pets are involved. And we partner with our local sister communities, to provide recreational activities, and a command room for our associates.
Our entire Birmingham team is on standby to assist in this evacuation," Stanford said. We encourage any Birmingham-area residents who can help to bring supplies to our Somerby St. Vincents One Nineteen location.
Among requested items are bottled water, juice, soft drinks, nutritional drinks, snacks (chips, candy, healthy options), hand sanitizer, first aid kits, garbage bags, paper towels, disinfectant spray and wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, disposable gloves, adult wipes, adult briefs, craft items, jigsaw puzzles and word puzzles