Residents report that the volunteers made everyone feel at home at both Bunnell and Wadsworth elementary schools.
I cannot say enough about the wonderful people who manned the Bunnell Elementary School shelter. The CERT team, the school district, the police, the Humane Society and all the other employees and volunteers were fantastic.
They sheltered us, fed us and took care of our pets. Every single person was friendly, efficient and knowledgeable.
When I reported that a lens had fallen out of my eyeglasses, they found it and returned it to me! In a difficult situation, they were truly a port in the storm. Thank you, Flagler County!
Editor’s note: Barbara Kipnis also was kind enough to send in a few photos of her experience, along with some notes about her experience in Room 13-107, a first-grade classroom.
Kipnis wrote that Bunnell Elementary had electric outlets and wifi for guests. “Many evacuees used their tablets to follow Matthew and its effect on Palm Coast,” she wrote.
She added: “I neglected to mention one of the most interesting things in the shelter: 13 strangers lived together for two days – and no one discussed the presidential election! I guess even a hurricane cloud can have a silver lining.”
Kipnis brought her Tibetan terrier, B.J., to the shelter. She said she was told that at one time there were 163 dogs, 68 cats, 10 birds, two rabbits and assorted others.
“Everyone who had a pet there should give generously to the (Humane Society),” Kipnis wrote. “Although we were supposed to bring a crate and food, they had supplies for those without.”
One other ironic point: Apparently there were three Tibetan dogs at the shelter, all three with their owners ended up next to each other in the same classroom.
Thanks to everyone who helped make the evacuations comfortable
I would like to take this opportunity to thank lots of people that were involved to make our evacuation as comfortable as possible.
Thank you to the Sheriff’s Office and Flagler County Fire and Rescue. Thank you to all the people who worked at Wadsworth Elementary School, from the principal to the teachers, to the kitchen people and to the janitors. You made us feel welcomed and took good care of us.
I hope Flagler County residents know how hard all these people worked together for us.
SIDEBAR: Facebook responses
From Oct. 3 to Oct. 9, the Palm Coast Observer created 60 posts on Facebook, resulting in about 13,200 engagements (likes, loves, comments, etc.). Those posts had a combined reach of more than 1.1 million people. Thanks to everyone who looked to our Facebook page during Hurricane Matthew and shared your stories with us. Here is a sampling of some of the comments.
A story about three kids who cleaned up Heroes Park drew these comments (see Page 29 of the print edition for the story, as well):
Tim Stanford: As a father with my son's name on the fallen soldier's monolith, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Ashton Kaileigh: Ashley Machiela and Keith Machiela, you're amazing parents!
Phoenix Saldaña Sarmiento-Araneta: Commendable! Excellent parenting, setting good example to their children on giving back to their community. It's true what M. Gandhi said: "We are the change we want our world to be," meaning, if we want a gentler, kinder world, it has to start with us. Kudos to the Machiela family for showing us that there's hope for the future.
Olivier Wagenheim: We have great kids in this town!
Patrick J Juliano: That is a very sentimental park. I want to thank these amazing kids for their selfless act and for placing service above self. You are a leading example for our community. God bless you.
A video of volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints drew these comments (see Page 18 of the print edition):
Priscilla Zim: These people came to my neighborhood and helped clean up our yard and remove fallen trees. Wonderful sweet people. We truly appreciate you all!
Jenny Whitley: Thank all of you for help with my house. Love our community.
Denise Donohue Oshea: That's so wonderful. Some group came to my mom's home to help. Thank you all so much!
Selina Sams: So glad to see people helping each other. God is good. This hurricane could have been much worse.
On posts about power being brought back on, here's what some had to say:
Amy Shields: Thank you for all your hardwork. Last night at midnight, I heard workers all around. I truly appreciate everyone and their efforts.
Angela Kruijs: I am extremely impressed with efforts put forth toward recovery.
Josh Rhinehart: If people just accept the fact these companies are not staffed to handle this, you would be OK. It's going to be a long time before power is restored.
Mike Monroe: This is one reason why people don't evacuate: The government is too slow in letting us go back to our homes.
Jessica Baker Knight: Thank you guys for all you're doing so we can go back home and be safe and have things on again.