Ninety-one anxious elders, some hyperventilating and clinging to their pets, were evacuated from an apartment building for low-income people over 62 on Saturday afternoon in Wilmington, North Carolina hit by Hurricane Florence.
Two dozen firefighters were sent to the old Cape Fear Hotel and Apartments in a blinding storm of rain, after the hurricane made landfall near Wilmington on Friday morning, when residents called 911 to report that the water rained on almost all of them. the floors and began to flood. The lobby
With no electricity for the second day in a row due to thousands of uprooted trees and downed power lines, and with the fresh memories of eight elderly residents who died in a nursing home when Hurricane Irma hit Florida a year ago, authorities decided to evacuate residents to a nearby high school.
Two dozen firefighters were sent to the former Cape Fear Hotel and Apartments in a blinding rainstorm after the hurricane hit land near Wilmington on Friday morning.
Fire Rescue and EMS were present helping in the evacuation. Here is an EMT rescuing some pets that were left behind in some of the rooms
"We've been in a precarious situation for two days," said resident Bob Carmichael, 70. "It has rained in almost every room and we have been sleeping in the old ballroom, but without the elevator and the air conditioning, people started to feel bad, so we called 911."
Three school buses took the residents to the shelter, although they will be homeless after the rains. Firefighters fear that the roof, loaded with rain that is expected to fall during the weekend, is about to collapse.
Nearly half of the evacuees had to be assisted by a treacherous staircase in the nine-story building. Several men and women made the slow journey in the dark transported in wheelchairs. Some residents argued that they did not want to leave their few belongings, and others negotiated the acceptance of cats, dogs or birds in the shelter. In the end, the firefighters promised that they could keep their coworkers through their shelter and pack some bags to make sure everyone left.
Inside the cubes of the house of Jean Baral were used to help curb the flow of water entering the building
The damage on the ninth floor was extensive. All residents had to be evacuated due to storm damage
On the ninth floor, where the ceiling tiles collapsed in the corridor and inside the one-bedroom apartments, Jean Baral walked with difficulty on the ankle of his bedroom while making sure he did not leave anything precious.
Originally from Connecticut, Baral, 69, moved south to be with her two children and seven grandchildren, but none of them was there while wondering where she would live after the storm.
She said she liked living in the brick building, a great hotel in Prohibition Era that once featured buttons and celebrities dressed in red. Residents said that Ronald Reagan once visited him, as did his fellow movie stars, Esther Williams and Michael Landon.
EMT and firefighters were seen helping residents evacuate the Cape Fear apartment complex
Jean Baral, gathering his belongings. She along with all the other residents had to be evacuated because the complex was no longer structurally fit to live
Mike Houston and Mary Stahl wait patiently on the second floor of what appeared to be a common area for residents
But like many older hotels in the US cities. The Cape Fear became an urban plague until it was transformed into modest rental units for a room for the elderly. The rent is established according to the means and starts at $ 300 per month.
Residents told DailyMail.com how a cell phone company convinced owners to install an antenna on the roof several years ago. But when the 100 mph winds came early on Friday morning, the cell phone tower was thrown into the street along with large pieces of the roof.
While filling some family memories and needs, Baral realized that he had lost most of his possessions forever.
The elderly were loaded onto buses and relocated. Some were loaded into ambulances waiting
Three school buses took residents to the shelter, although they will be homeless after the rains
"You know what, I had renter's insurance," he said, looking at a source of water that filtered through the ceiling fan as if it were a shower. "But I let it expire on August 30 because I was a little busy for cash, I do not know how I'm going to get back on my feet."
When water began to seep from floor to floor through ceilings and walls, Cape Fear residents gathered in the grand ballroom and fulfilled their obligations. Some laid cushions on sofas and slept on the floor. Others brought the food they had left and put it on a table for everyone to use. A rotten watermelon and stale pop cakes were all that was left when the residents were evacuated.
Mike Houston, a former news photographer, ran to the building from across the city to pick up his 75-year-old mother.
"It's fine and I'll take her home with me," he said as he brought a cage with two cats up the stairs. & # 39; I hope you accept to stay a while this time & # 39;
You see a firefighter helping in the evacuation