90 Patients In Damaged Eastman Nursing Home Removed, Tornado to Blame

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Updated: Sat, 17 May 2014 12:23:12 EST


Jeanie Pascha's family life has changed in the last two days. Her mother is one of 90 Heart of Georgia nursing home residents that had to relocate after a tornado hit Eastman this week.

"Right now, she's staying with me but hopefully we're gona' be able to move her to another facility within the next 2 or 3 days," Pascha said.

Patients relocated to nearby facilities. Butch Milner is the man responsible for making that happen as the nursing home's administrator.

"We've placed everybody, we've transferred them out to the local facilities, hospitals and they've reunited some of them with their families, there were no injuries," said Milner.

Many residents were transported directly across the street to Dodge County hospital.

"We started out with 24 patients as of this morning we have 12 patients," Dodge County hospital CEO Kevin Biershenk.

Family members spent Friday in and out of the home getting belongings. Staff members worked more than 16 hours to take care of their patients.

"All we could do is make sure they were ok, I mean worry about the damage later, but they were first," said Nursing Home staff member Alicia Southerland.

staff didn't leave the home until each patient had a new place to stay.

"You couldn't ask for a better group, a better staff and better people to leave your loved one with. They're awesome, I love em'. All of em'," said Sheila Wright, whose mother lives at the nursing home.

WGXA'S cameras were not allowed inside the heavy damage. Water caved in the ceiling, the roof is no longer on top of the building, it's on the ground.

The National Weather Service is in the process of assessing the damage.

"In this case actually there was two storms that day that came through. The first storm that came through in the afternoon actually took out the Warner Robins radar for us so we didn't have the Warner Robins radar for this event," said National Weather Service meteorologist Keith Spellman.

Which makes it much tougher to figure out just what caused all of this.

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