Nearly 500 elderly evacuees from Hilton Head stay in Fort Mill - | WBTV Charlotte

Nearly 500 elderly evacuees from Hilton Head stay in Fort Mill

Source: Kristi O'Connor WBTV Source: Kristi O'Connor WBTV
Source: Kristi O'Connor WBTV Source: Kristi O'Connor WBTV
Source: Kristi O'Connor WBTV Source: Kristi O'Connor WBTV
Source: Kristi O'Connor WBTV Source: Kristi O'Connor WBTV
ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) -

As Hurricane Irma threatens to flood the southern states, thousands of people are flooding the northern part of the country to get away from the danger.

Of those evacuees, are hundreds of residents of The Cypress of Hilton Head, a retirement community that provides independent living, assisted living and in-home nursing care to people ages 62 and over.

Nearly 500 members and employees of The Cypress left Hilton Head Friday night to escape Irma. They are staking out at a familiar place in Fort Mill; the old Heritage USA property, which is now called MorningStar Fellowship Church of Heritage International Ministries.

"To meet these kinds of challenges and to express love and kindness is really what we are all about," General Manager of the Heritage property Erika Robinson said.

Last year, when Hurricane Matthew hit the east coast, the retirees also fled Hilton Head. They stayed at the Heritage property for 11 days, until it was safe for them to return home.

They were provided vacant hotel rooms, meals three times a day and plenty of entertainment.

"For us, it's as pleasant as it could be," Evacuee Ellen Smith said. "It's not bad because we are so well taken care of."

The evacuee's nursing staff also traveled with them, to ensure they had healthcare options while away from home. The staff members are staying at three different area hotels.

Meanwhile, about 10 retirees who require in-home nursing care are staying at the assisted living facility Wellmore of Tega Cay.

Their spirits were staying high, despite having to leave their homes for an unknown amount of time. However, they do know there is a very real threat to their properties and to the people of South Carolina who are still evacuating.

"I worry for other people, because we're so well taken care of, I know we will be okay," Smith said.

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