Emergency officials have brokered a deal under which the Red Bank Salvation Army facility will provide temporary shelter for most of the 113 elderly patients of a nursing home ordered evacuated Saturday in the face of Hurricane Irene.
Borough emergency management coordinator Tommy Welsh tells redbankgreen that under a deal facilitated by the Monmouth County and state offices of emergency management 80 resident of the Chapin Hill at Red Bank nursing home will be moved just two blocks away, to higher ground, at the Salvation Army building on Newman Springs Road.
“We thought at this point it would be a home run if we could just move them up the hill,” Welsh said, noting that the four-story nursing home on Chapin Avenue is just yards from the Swimming River, in a flood zone. “If, god forbid, something should happen down there, we wouldn’t be able to get to them.”
Initially, the nursing home operator was scrambling to find 41 beds after having arranged for the remainder of its patients to be relocated to a sister facility in Mercer County. At least 25 patients will be moved to facilities in Hope and Trenton, Welsh said. Information was not immediately available about the destinations of any other patients.
The county OEM is sending a mobile assistance trailer loaded with cots, linens and other amenities to the Salvation Army, and the Chapin Hill nursing and kitchen staffs will relocate their operations there as well, Welsh said.
A transportation contractor for the nursing home is moving the patients.
The facility is not serving as a public shelter, Welsh emphasizes. Red Bank does not have any shelters designated, though Welsh said the borough OEM committee is working to set up a “reception center” at a local church that might serve as a gathering place for residents wishing to utilize county-arranged facilities.
Three high schools in Monmouth County have been set up as regional shelters,: Holmdel, Colts Neck and Wall Township.
As of noon, Holmdel had registered 215 evacuees, with room for 185 more, Welsh said. Wall was said to be near capacity, and Colts Neck had just 50 evacuees.
Pets are not allowed at any of the facilities, Welsh said.