The Buckner Children and Family Services campus and Calder Woods senior living community in Beaumont, Texas, appeared to weather Hurricane Laura without suffering any exterior damages and maintaining electricity, according to preliminary assessments.
Buckner Retirement Services and BCFS leadership will conduct a thorough investigation of both campuses to assess the interior conditions and how soon displaced children and senior adults may begin to return.
Hurricane Laura made landfall east of the Beaumont-area at approximately 1 a.m. Thursday. According to the National Weather Service, it was a Category 4 hurricane when first passing over southeast Louisiana.
Ventana by Buckner® culinary staff prepare an additional 100 meals for displaced Huricane Laura residents from Calder Woods. Approximately 50 meals were for Calder Woods residents and another 50 meals for Calder Woods associates and their families who were evacuated to Ventana in Dallas.
Jefferson County was largely spared with 75 mph the highest reported wind speed in the county overnight, according to the Beaumont Enterprise. As a result, Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick signed an order lifting the evacuation order for Beaumont and surrounding areas within the county, effective at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Evacuation protocols are still in place for the Buckner children, families and senior adults transported out of the area by Buckner staff on Tuesday as leadership conduct their assessments.
If Calder Woods is deemed to be in safe operating condition, then the goal is for residents to begin returning over the weekend, said Buckner Retirement Services Vice President Brian Robbins.
“I am driving out to Calder Woods to assess the condition of the community firsthand, but as of right now, it seems like God looked out for our buildings, and we are very blessed,” Robbins said. “We are currently in communications with all of our associates, residents and their emergency contacts to work out the logistics of returning to the community. If everything looks good, then our associates will report to work on Friday to make sure Calder Woods is ready to receive our evacuated health care residents over the weekend. Once all the health care residents are settled in, then we will be in touch with our independent living residents who evacuated on their own or with family so they too can return to their apartments.”
Preliminary assessments of Calder Woods and Buckner Family and Children Services campus in Beaumont, Texas, after Hurricane Laura made landfall appeared to be without suffering any exterior damages and maintaining electricity.
Samela Macon, vice president of Buckner Children and Family Services, said BCFS leadership will continue meeting every morning to evaluate their plans.
“As of right now, we expect our children, staff and families who evacuated to Camp Buckner will be able to return this weekend, pending our full review of the Beaumont campus,” she said. “Our Beaumont and Camp Buckner staff have done an amazing job caring for the kids and giving them an impromptu camp experience in the middle of a hurricane and pandemic, all the while continuing to mitigate risks associated with the virus.”
Jefferson County and City of Beaumont employees began work Thursday morning to repair downed power lines and remove debris and fallen trees in order for the hundreds of thousands of Southeast Texas evacuees to return safely.