Elderly resident living in retirement facility on Hope Circle in Immokalee, Florida evacuated by local fire and rescue.
Before noon Saturday, 20 seniors packed up their possessions and evacuated from Cypress Run, a low-income senior community in Immokalee.
The group was transported to Lake Trafford Elementary School, one of Immokalee's hurricane shelters, by first responders with the Immokalee Fire Rescue District and North Collier Fire & Rescue.
Not all residents evacuated, however.
Barbara Garcia, 75, wasn’t planning to go anywhere.
Wearing a necklace with a cross and a pendant with the words “Try God”, she said she would go along with God’s plans.
“I just trust God,” said Garcia, who keeps in her phone the photos of her ordination as an evangelical minister.
After surviving HIV, overcoming a drug addiction 18 years ago and riding out Hurricane Wilma in a mobile home in 2005, she said if God wants to take her, so be it.
She says she is aware of the dangers of staying at the community, and that the facility’s management tried to convince everyone to leave, but managers told residents they couldn’t force them.
So she is staying.
“It’s my choice,” she said.
She plans to pray and to read the Bible — the Book of Jeremiah — if the lights don’t go out. She says they have food. She is mostly worried about flooding.
Another of the residents, Ida Moses, 64, wasn’t planning to evacuate, but then the firefighters told her the building wasn’t safe.
So she decided to go with her daughter and grandchildren to another daughter’s home in Farm Worker Village in Immokalee. The homes are made of solid concrete, so they think they will be safe there.
Adillon Dhiti, 69, and his wife went along with the firefighters. The two were waiting in the lobby, their suitcases packed with food and clothing
Dhiti said he had decided to go to a shelter the first he heard about the hurricane.
“I don’t want to be here,” he said. “I want to go to a shelter.”