On Sunday evening, about 190,000 residents in the danger areas of the potential Oroville Dam spillway failure were ordered to evaluate.
Included were those at the Oroville and Marysville Prestige Senior Living facilities.
“We got word at 5 p.m. that 35 residents from Marysville were coming here,” said Aleta Walker of Prestige Assisted Living of Manteca.
Her team sprang into action, preparing the local facility with 114 villa-style apartments by providing temporary accommodations for their special guests.
They put together a concerted effort with the staff at Marysville.
“We did it together quickly and diligently,” said Walker, who has been the regional director of operation at Manteca for the past five years.
She’s also a resident of Yuba City, which also had to be evaluated.
Walker didn’t have time to take her belongings. Her big concern was with the Marysville residents.
“Their well-being was more important,” she said.
Many were in the Expressions Memory Care Program specifically for those with special needs caused by memory loss.
“It was important that we have access to their (medical) records and medications,” said Judy Jackson, vice president of operations in Manteca.
Transporting the Marysville residents, considering many had medical conditions, was an arduous task given the jam-packed roadways. The Oroville residents were taken to the Chico facility, according to Walker.
The first bus arrived in Manteca at 11:30 p.m. Sunday.
By 12:15 Monday afternoon, the last of the 35 residents had safely reached their destination.
Jackson praised the efforts of Walker and her staff for 24 hours of nonstop work given the situation.
“My key thought was from the (Prestige) mission statement of that promise to personally touch the lives of our residents every day,” Walker said.
Help also arrived in the form of the Prestige central support in Visalia coupled with clothes, towels and other items coming from outside donations.
The guests were put in vacant rooms and the larger community room as their home away from home.
The San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services delivered 33 portable beds on Monday afternoon.
Heath Flora, R-Ripon, of the state Assembly 12th District was also instrumental in the relief efforts, Walker said.
“Everyone (from Marysville) has finally settled in,” said Jackson.
Walker added: “We’ve notified their physicians and families, and we’ll continue to do so every day for their comfort.”
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.