Milbridge community steps up to help evacuate Narraguagus Bay residents after storm damage

Officials at the nursing home say a rubber membrane flew off the concrete roof in the afternoon.
Officials at the nursing home say a rubber membrane flew off the concrete roof in the afternoon.(Bryan Sidelinger)
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 6:28 PM EST
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MILBRIDGE, Maine (WABI) - Residents of Narraguagus Bay Health Care in Milbridge had to be evacuated to facilities in Ellsworth and Gouldsboro during Monday’s storm.

Officials at the nursing home say a rubber membrane flew off the concrete roof in the afternoon.

About two-thirds of the residents were safely moved to Courtland Rehab & Living Center in Ellsworth while 11 are currently staying at the Gouldsboro Community Center. But this story isn’t about why the residents at Narraguagus Bay Health Care needed to be evacuated Monday...

“All of a sudden I had a resident come out and say if there’s something coming off the roof,” said Narraguagus Bay CRMA/CNA Kasey Call.

“The Fire Department was more concerned with the water getting in and leaks,” said Mary Jean Richards, COO of North Country Associates. “So they thought it would be safer to get the residents out and into a safer location.”

...And it isn’t about the uncertainty residents must’ve faced in leaving their homes at a moment’s notice, although that’s part of it too.

“I know for the residents it was very scary. And for my mother, she has dementia, it was even scarier.”

This story is really about how Milbridge came together to move  its most vulnerable citizens, their beds, and belongings to a safe place. Evacuating forty-one elderly residents in the middle of a nasty storm without any notice might seem like a pretty tall task But Narraguagus Bay was able to do it in two hours, thanks to a community wide all hands on deck approach.”

“All of the firefighters that came,” said Hall. “And all the first you know the first responders and everything

“The local ambulance, the school department,” Richards added. “We had school buses.”

“I called up my dad and he’s part of him in lumber who actually got a box truck,” said Hall. “I mean, we called Rolf switches local and they were willing to send over a box truck as well. They were helpful getting the beds in and out. Anybody was just like, ‘What can I do to help? Where do you want me?’”

Maclean said she wasn’t surprised the residents were evacuated so quickly.

“Everyone just pulls together in a time of need,” she said.

Richards said she wasn’t surprised either.

“The Milbridge community is like that.” said Richards. “We’ve seen that time and time again when this facility has needed their assistance or their support. And so this time was no different. You know, you always look for the heroes and certainly the community of Milbridge is one of those heroes we look towards today.”

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