All of the Emerson Manor tenants have been placed in temporary housing until repairs and cleanup work can be completed on their building. Over 60 residents were evacuated and the building quarantined Monday after hazardous bacteria levels were found in runoff water from a fire.
As of yesterday afternoon, most of them had their pets back as well. Three local hotels, the Econolodge, Travelodge and Guest House Inn have contracted with the county to provide housing until March 31st. The county reports the cost of which will run about 1,700 per person, a special meeting has been announced for Friday to consider amending their contract with Coastal Community Action Program to cover the difference.
Chuck Wallace with the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency tells us they have funding for the rooms until March 31st for all displaced tenants, anyone who left to stay with family or friends can call 532-0570 for details . A chief concern is what to do if repairs are not complete by March 31st? Where does the funding come from to assist at that time?
The exciting part of the day was the reunification of most owners with their pets. Special thanks goes out to all of the local foster home providers for the numerous pets belonging to the tenants who needed to be housed last night because there was no way to care for them at Immanuel Baptist Church.
None of the motel rooms have kitchen facilities and some have no microwave. One of the tasks at hand is how to provide at least one hot meal per day to the tenants. A few local agencies have volunteered to assist for a few days but more are needed. Kitchen facilities are needed as well as a mode for delivery.
Cleaning of the building has begun. The clean-up crews are still waiting on additional test results before a complete and thorough cleaning of the building can begin. It is anticipated some tenants will return home to find some furniture has been removed due to water damage and possible mold growth. Hopefully it is limited however assistance will be needed to purchase replacement furniture.
Anchor Bank has set up a fund to assist the Emerson Manor tenants. Please help by going to any Anchor Bank location and ask for the Emerson Manor Assistance Fund. Your donation will be greatly appreciated. Only monetary donations will be accepted.
A tremendous amount of work was accomplished by an army of regional agencies who descended upon Hoquiam and the Emerson Manor Apartments. Words cannot express how much their efforts are appreciated however many are returning home leaving a skeleton staff remaining to see this event through until the last tenant is back in their apartment. Time goes quickly, funding will run low and there is still a task to accomplish. Please help us help the displaced tenants by donating to the Emerson Manor Assistance Fund at any Anchor Bank location
The Emerson Manor in Hoquiam was evacuated yesterday, over 60 tenants were told yesterday afternoon that they needed to collect their valuables as they were moved to the Immanuel Baptist Church in Hoquiam for the evening.
As a result of the Thursday morning fire and extensive water damage in the Emerson Manor Apartments in Hoquiam, sample bacteria reports from runoff water returned today have been found to be excessively high, resulting in an evacuation of all 60+ tenants of the apartment building. Tenants were notified in a 4pm meeting Monday afternoon of the need to collect their valuables and necessary clothing to be transferred to the Immanuel Baptist Church in Hoquiam for the evening. Many tenants have also been separated from their pets which are being distributed to local area animal shelters and adoption homes until better living facilities can be arranged and they can be reunified with their owners.
The Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS), the Red Cross, Grays Harbor Community Hospital, Grays Harbor County Public Health and numerous local and regional agencies have been working tirelessly on this incident. Their efforts today were enormous, however it was the extreme cooperation of the Emerson Manor Apartment tenants who helped achieve the evacuation in less than 3 hours. The focus in the coming days is to find better, longer term living arrangements for all of the tenants.
The Emerson Manor tenants are mainly low income, senior citizen residents. Many have specific disabilities, yet they work hard to remain self-sufficient. Today, they had to leave their home, most of their personal belongings and furniture for an extended period of time. Some are lucky enough to have family and friends to assist and stay with during the building rehabilitation, but most have nowhere else to turn. They have left their home with literally the shirts on their back and little else.
The majority of tenants have no insurance covering them for this event. They have no assistance to help purchase new clothing, furniture and appliances lost due to the water damage. Anchor Bank, also displaced due to the fire, has graciously set up a fund to assist the residents of the Emersion Manor Apartments called the Emerson Manor Assistance Fund. Anchor Bank locations throughout Grays Harbor County will accept monetary donations for the displaced Emerson Manor Apartment tenants. Please, ONLY monetary donations will be accepted for this incident, because each tenant requiring assistance has specific needs. Anchor Bank has taken the lead. Let’s follow their example and help neighboring Harborites in need.
Post Quartermaster, Terry Holderman says: “There will still be a lot of work left to do: electrical, insulation, HVAC, drywall, painting, and other projects. But we are hopeful that we could be back in business by the New Year. To cover the loan we will have to increase our income dramatically, so we are developing our business plan to provide almost $2,000 a month more than in the past.”
The VFW will still make the hall available for rent, will still serve dinners for members and the public, and still have the lounge open for members, but new income will be required. We are considering adding weekend breakfast service, business lunches, and special fundraising projects such as barbeques, fish fry’s, dances, concerts, etc. Auxiliary President, Nell Todd said: “The people in Grays Harbor have been so supportive and generous during this time, that we were able to raise approximately $15,000 which helped us secure the loan. We hope they will continue to help us by supporting our business so that we may continue to serve our Veterans.”
Donations for the building repairs may be made through any Anchor Bank branch, to the donation account for: The Aberdeen VFW Building Program. Or donations may be sent to: Aberdeen VFW, 105 East Heron, Aberdeen, WA 98520.