On December 31, Saturday morning, it was raining hard and George called the fire department. They came out, accessed the situation, and felt everything was under control. About half an hour later the drains backed up and water filled the side yard, behind the building, and started getting into the building. George called the Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD) back. They came out and decided to evacuate. The ACFD called the Alameda County Sheriff to help and all the patients were moved to a Hayward church. Fern Lodge staff was able to collect mattresses, bedding, special foods, supplies and such and set up house in the Sunday School, child care and board room. The Christian Science nurses did their jobs as normal just in a different location. Sharon made sure everything was orderly and everybody had a place to sleep. Anna made sure food was ordered and delivered.
On Sunday, we held Sunday School in the treasurer’s office at the church. They started bringing people into the church service during the solo. I think they didn’t realize that we start at 10:00 a.m., usually they listen to the Oakland service that starts at 10:30 a.m. During the first section there was some talking, some greetings, a little confusion, looking for a full text and such. Then we got to the second section and read the story of Elijah. The Second Reader read about the wind and the earthquake and the fire. Then after she read “a still small voice”, one lady said, in a quiet voice, “that was God’s voice.” Very sweet. Then the First Reader read, “Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent.” After that everyone was quiet and listening.
On Sunday at Fern Lodge, Rosa (head of housekeeping) and the housekeeping staff were trying to clean out the mud when her family called her to wish her a Happy New Year. They ask why she sounded out of breath and she told them what happened. Several of her family members showed up and started moving furniture and washing floors.
On Monday, the facility was clean and the patients were moved back to Fern Lodge. Housekeeping laundered all the bedding, nurses and others put the rooms back in order. In the afternoon, 200 sandbags were delivered. We started sandbagging all the sliding glass doors and finished that on Tuesday. Many people have helped. All of Fern Lodge staff, several who cut their vacations short. Neighbors stopped by to check that all is well. One neighbor brought his tractor over and scooped the mud out of the parking lot. Church members and attendees have helped clean and move sandbags and furniture or lend equipment. People came from other facilities to help on the nursing floor and outside.
– by Tiffani Hale