DALLAS, Texas – 09-22-08 – 9:00 a .m. – Buckner Retirement Services has announced that it is safe for independent living residents to return to Calder Woods in Beaumont, although full services will not be available until Wednesday. Assisted living, nursing and dementia residents who evacuated with Buckner staff will return on Tuesday.
Buckner is asking that all assisted living, nursing and memory support residents who evacuated with their families not to return until Wednesday, since most of the staff will not be back until late Tuesday evening.
“The power is back on and the mandatory evacuation has been lifted,” said Ben Mazzara, executive director at Calder Woods. “We have had a cleanup crew on campus taking care of debris and minor damages. And we had staff go into apartments to clean out refrigerators. So everything is ready and prepared for our return.
“Those independent living residents returning before Tuesday will be asked to sign a waiver recognizing that there will be no services available to them until Wednesday, when all the staff has been able to return.”
Calder Woods residents staying at Buckner Retirement Village in Dallas will depart Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. by bus and ambulance. Residents staying at Buckner Villas in Austin will depart later Tuesday morning, and those staying at Parkway Place in Houston will depart Tuesday evening.
More than 232 residents, staff and their families evacuated Sept. 11 after a mandatory evacuation was called for special-needs residents. Most evacuated residents have been staying at Buckner Retirement campuses in Dallas, Austin and Houston.
Charlie Wilson, chief operating officer for Buckner Retirement Services, said he appreciates the efforts of Buckner staff who have worked tirelessly to care for displaced residents.
“Our staff has been incredible,” he said. “And we’re really lucky to have several campuses in Texas to help take care of each other when needed. The staff welcomed our evacuated residents with open arms, and I think that helped everyone feel more at ease.
“Hurricane evacuations are never easy or comfortable, but it is always our top priority to make sure everyone is safe and taken care of. And that’s what we did.”
Residents and family members with questions about the return to Calder Woods can contact the toll-free Weather Alert Helpline at 1-800-381-4551.
Calder Woods Residents Should Wait
Before Returning to Beaumont
DALLAS, Texas - 9/19/08 - 6:00 p.m. - Buckner Retirement Services has asked that residents of Calder Woods wait before returning to Beaumont, even though the mandatory evacuation is expected to lift sometime over the weekend.
Charlie Wilson, chief operating officer for BRS, said they will send an advance team to the campus to determine the safe return date for evacuated residents. As soon as residents are free to return, an update will be posted on this website.
Residents and family members with questions can contact the toll-free Weather Alert Helpline at 1-800-381-4551.
Buckner Residents, Staff Still Waiting to Return to Beaumont after Ike
DALLAS, Texas -- 9/17/08 -- 4:15 p.m. -- Residents and staff of Calder Woods and Buckner Children’s Village in Beaumont are staying put in Buckner locations around Texas following last week’s evacuation due to Hurricane Ike.
Buckner International President Kenneth Hall said they will stay where they are for an undetermined amount of time.
“The mandatory evacuation in Beaumont has not been lifted,” Hall said. “Calder Woods may have power as soon as late Wednesday or sometime Thursday but Beaumont is having trouble with its septic systems. The mayors of Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange told KFDM they are asking evacuees to remain where they are until the all-clear is given.
“Obviously, we will wait until power has been restored to the area and local officials give us the OK to bring everyone back home,” he said. “What's most vital right now is that everyone is safe. We need to pray for the strength of the staff, who've been under a lot of duress these past few weeks.”
The staff and children from Buckner Children’s Village are residing at Camp Buckner in Burnet, while staff and residents from Calder Woods are staying at Parkway Place in Houston, Buckner Villas in Austin, and Buckner Retirement Village in Dallas.
Greg Eubanks, director/team leader for Buckner Children and Family Services of Southeast Texas, said the Children’s Village campus received only minor damage during the storm, which includes fallen trees, lost shingles and water damage.
Many of the 30-plus staff who traveled with the children to Camp Buckner “are worried about their homes and possessions back in Beaumont, but are holding up fine,” he said. “Camp Buckner has been a wonderful host to us.”
Calder Woods, Buckner Retirement Services' Beaumont community, also sustained minimal damage during Hurricane Ike, but they are asking residents to wait before returning back to the campus.
Damages included minor exterior damage to fences and carports. “We were blessed to have so little damage,” he said. “But we are waiting for power to be restored before we can become operational.”
Mazzara noted that he has been in touch with power company and local civic leaders and expects power to be out “for at least a week. The hospitals in Beaumont are operating on emergency power and the utility companies have said the hospitals should have power in a week. We are anticipating Calder Woods' power will be restored shortly after the hospitals. We do not anticipate our re-entry for at least a week minimum.”
Parkway Place, a Buckner retirement community in Houston, sustained minor damage during the storm and lost power for about 24 hours before it was restored. Storm clean-up crews quickly arrived to repair fallen branches, replace lost shingles, and clean up any flood waters on the campus.
Buckner staff and leadership is closely monitoring the situation to determine when staff and residents can return to Beaumont. Further information will be posted online at www.buckner.org.
Mazzara: Calder Woods powerless 'for at least a week'
DALLAS, Texas -- 9/15/2008 -- Although Calder Woods, Buckner Retirement Services' Beaumont community sustained minimal damage during Hurricane Ike's movement through Texas Friday and Saturday, the campus remains without utilities and the surrounding community has no fuel or other utilities, said Ben Mazzara, Calder Woods executive director. "With our current situation, we are asking residents and staff to remain where they are until further notice."
Calder Woods sustained only minor exterior damage, including some fencing and carports, but the facility weathered the storm well, with no resident's homes receiving damage. "We were blessed to have so little damage," he said. "But we are waiting for power to be restored before we can become operational."
Mazzara noted tha the has been in touch with power company and local civic leaders and expects power to be out "for at least a week. The Hospitals in Beaumont are operating on emergency power and the utility companies have said the hospitals should have power in a week. We are anticipating Calder Woods' power will be restored shortly after the hospitals. We do not anticipate our re-entry for at least a week minimum."
Mazzara said that as soon as power is restored and Buckner leaders determined it was safe for residents to return to the area, the notice to return will be posted at www.buckner.org.
In other Buckner Retirement Services news:
-- Buckner Westminster Place in Longview had power restored mid-morning on Sunday. BRS director of operations Charlie Wilson said residents there are safe and the staff is doing a great job caring for everyone. We're working with staff to ensure their needs are being met, because many of them do not have power at their homes."
-- Parkway Place in Houston had power restored Saturday evening," reported Wilson. "The dedicated staff is working very hard to meet all of the residents needs. The damage in Houston has made it difficult to contact staff who rode out the storm at home, but we are gradually getting all of our staff back in place. Doyle Antle, executive director of Buckner Villas in Austin sent a truck load of supplies in yesterday and our food vendor is sending a truck today. We are blessed that we have been able to operate so effectively and serve our residents throughout this storm."
-- Pearl Merritt, president of Buckner Retirement Services, is suvrveying damage at Parkway Place and visiting Beaumont residents who evacuated to Austin.
Parkway Place power restored, service crews in midst of repairs
HOUSTON -- 09/13/08, 7:30 p.m. -- Less than 24 hours after Hurricane Ike hit Houston, Parkway Place Executive Director Chuck Childress reported late Saturday that power had been restored to the Buckner retirement community and that service crews already were making repairs and performing cleanup. The restoration of power also restores air conditioning to the community and will halt earlier contingency plans by Buckner Retirement Services to move residents to other retirement facilities because of the heat.
"The lawn service is here taking care of the many branches and two trees that are down around the campus," said Childress, "And the roofer is already here taking care of shingles and any other areas of the roof that are damaged. An extraction service is on site taking care of the areas that received water. We're in really good shape considering the damage other buildings received in Houston."
In other weather-related BRS news, Buckner Westminster Place in Longview is currently without power and Buckner leaders are closely monitoring conditions there. All residents are said to be safe and a generator is being used to provide power to skilled care and other critical systems.
BEAUMONT, Texas -- 08/09/13, 2:45 p.m. -- Initial reports from observers indicated moderate damage to Buckner Children's Village and the Calder Woods retirement community after Hurricane Ike blew through Friday afternoon and into Saturday morning.
None of the Village's current 42 residents or any staff member was on the children's home campus during the bad weather. All had been evacuated to Camp Buckner Wednesday. Likewise, all Calder Woods residents had been evacuated by their families or to Buckner retirement communities in Austin, Houston and Dallas.
Greg Eubanks, director/team leader for Buckner Children and Family Services of Southeast Texas, said a spouse of a staff member made an early-morning assessment of all the structures Saturday, finding mostly wind- and rain-related damage.
"It appears from that report that we were blessed with less damage than we had feared," Eubanks said. "Although it looks like we've got a lot of cleanup. There seems to be some water damage from seepage and a window that blew in, there's some roof damage caused by falling trees and we lost some shingles."
Eubanks said many of the 30-plus staff who traveled with the children to Camp Buckner "are worried about their homes and possessions back in Beaumont, but are holding up fine. Camp Buckner has been a wonderful host to us."
Buckner International President Ken Hall said the children will stay at the Camp for an undetermined amount of time. "Obviously, we will wait until power has been restored to the area and local officials give us the OK to bring everyone back home. What's most vital right now is that everyone is safe. We need to pray for the strength of the staff, who've been under a lot of duress these past few weeks."
It is the second time the staff and children have had to relocate from Beaumont in nearly three weeks. When Hurricane Gustav threatened the Texas Gulf Coast during the Labor Day weekend, staff and children relocated to Camp Buckner for several days.
Calder Woods experiences wind damage, no floodingCalder Woods security personnel also reported moderate damage and power loss to the retirement community Saturday afternoon. Initial reports showed the townhomes received no damage, but that some fencing, carports and trees were down from the Category 2-force winds that blew through the area.
Pearl Merritt, President of Buckner Retirement Services, said she was pleased with the reports.
“Other than a small leak from a few missing shingles, Calder Woods received no water damage,” she said. “We’re so relieved. We feared flooding the most and it appears we had none at all. What a blessing.”
Merritt said that, like the children’s ministries, Calder Woods residents and their families should go to www.buckner.org to determine plans for a return. “We don’t know how long it will take to restore power to the area and clear streets. We should be prepared for that to take days.”
HOUSTON – 9/13/08, 12:45 p.m. – Following a night of high winds and heavy rain provided by Hurricane Ike, Buckner Retirement Services announced that residents of Parkway Place are all safe and the facility sustained only minimal damage. They also noted the retirement community lost power during the night and have not been told by utility officials when it might be restored.
“All of our residents are fine,” said Charlie Wilson, BRS vice president for operations. “(Parkway Place Executive Director) Chuck Childress has assessed the outside of the building and they are missing sections of shingles, but otherwise seem to have no other damage to carports, windows, etc.”
Wilson said the next phase in Parkway’s storm recovery will involve the possible evacuation of residents if power cannot be restored in a reasonable amount of time. “The utility company has indicated that there is no way they can let us know today what the prospects are for power.
“Right now, everyone is safe and comfortable and we have healthcare staff who prepared for a long-term stay,” he noted. “We have generator power supplying basic needs and are in contact with the energy company to assess the timing for power restoration. We have plenty of food and water to remain in place. Heat is the current concern, because our generators do not power the air conditioning for the building.”
Wilson, who has been in contact with several Texas retirement communities, said Buckner has a plan for relocating residents to other facilities “should it look like we will be without power for an extended period. If families want to pick up their loved ones, please sign them out so we have a good way to account for all residents. We will provide further updates should we decide to move residents. At this point everyone is well-cared-for and we are fully stocked with provisions.”
If family members want to pick up their resident family members, Wilson urged them to contact the Buckner Weather Alert Helpline at 1-800-381-4551 prior to picking them up.
He also urged caution for family members traveling to Parkway. “We cannot assess the streets coming in, we can only assess the immediate area around our facility. The streets seem OK around Parkway, but please contact TXDOT or reference law enforcement Web sites for travel information.”
Beaumont Evacuees Arrive Safely,
Watch Ike's Progress
DALLAS, Texas: 09/12/08 3 p.m. – Buckner retirement and children's services leaders report all residents of their Beaumont, Texas ministries have safely arrived at their evacuation shelter points. With Hurricane Ike making landfall on the upper Texas coast Friday night, said Buckner International President Kenneth Hall, "now we wait to see how the storm affects our facilities."
Buckner evacuated Buckner Children’s Village Wednesday evening and Calder Woods retirement community Thursday morning.
Calder Woods skilled care and memory support residents were evacuated to three other Buckner retirement communities: Parkway Place in Houston, Buckner Villas in Austin and Buckner Retirement Village in Dallas. About 40 Children's Village residents evacuated to Camp Buckner near Marble Falls, with more than 30 staff and their families.
To help residents and families with evacuation planning, Calder Woods has set up a toll-free information center at 1-800-381-4551.
Evacuation Relief Needed
Hall also issued an appeal Thursday to Buckner supporters to help defray the “incredibly high cost of evacuating our residents.”
He noted that it’s a much different appeal for Buckner. “Typically, we ask for disaster relief to help offset the suffering of affected children and families in areas we serve. But with two evacuations of coastal areas where we minister in just two weeks because of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, we’re asking for help now.”
Hall said that many people can’t imagine the effort it takes to pick up and move two campuses in a day’s time.
“We’ve relocated dozens of children in our care and the necessary staff to care for them. In addition to moving residents and caregivers from Buckner Children’s Village, we also have helped dozens of foster families relocate during the storms. We also evacuated our elder residents from Calder Woods’ skilled care and memory support. This has come at a cost of thousands of dollars.”
Hall asked supporters to give online by clicking here or to call Buckner for credit card donations at 1-800-442-4800, ext. 8050. Each gift, he noted, will go into a special account earmarked for emergency relief for our residents “and every penny you give will go straight toward relief efforts.”
Updates on the storm and additional news will be available online at www.buckner.org and at www.bucknerretirement.org.