METROPOLIS, IL – May 4, 2011 – The recent high winds, record-setting rainfall and flooding made operating a business difficult across the region, but the staff members at Jonesboro Rehabilitation & Health Care Center looked past their own difficulties to help the citizens of Metropolis. “Even with of our own challenges, we felt strongly that we needed to do something to help the folks in Metropolis” according to facility Administrator Norma Spurlock.
Flooding has forced several Jonesboro RHCC staff members from their homes. Still, they continued to report to work to care for residents. Spurlock said “Some employees are staying in hotels, and others have a much longer commute. But our residents are like family and they come first.” Then a phone call came from officials at the Illinois Department of Public Health.
According to Spurlock, “Two nursing homes in Metropolis were forced to evacuate, so the State asked about our bed availability.” After contacting the facilities Spurlock learned that all of their residents already found safe accommodations. But with flood waters still rising, staff members felt more could still be done. So, without really knowing what awaited them, Spurlock, Sally Betts, Trena Newman, and Tammy Moren headed to Metropolis.
In Metropolis the Jonesboro Rehab Health Care Center team was greeted by National Guard PVT 1st class Andrew Nolan, form Mattoon, IL. Nolan was filling sand bags along side members of Alpha, Charlie, and Delta National Guard companies. According to Betts, “Private Nolan had been there for 13 days and they were sandbagging 24 hours per day. He showed us the ropes, and then put us to work sand bagging!”
The work was exhausting, but spirits here high. Newman said “It is difficult it is for us to be moved out of our routine, but you can’t imagine how tough it must be for them. Everyone just rolled up there sleeves and dug in. Metropolis is having a hard time with the flood, but they have some really wonderful folks helping.”
Back in Jonesboro, Spurlock summed up the feelings of her team. “We made some remarkable new friends. We would do it again in heartbeat, and I know they would be there for us.”