New ‘special needs’ shelter is a hit

OKEECHOBEE — A woman who identified herself only as “Elvis” was very enthusiastic about the shelter that was opened during Hurricane Dorian for use by those with special needs.

“Okeechobee County is so blessed to have the fire department, police department and sheriff’s department that we do.” They were in the special needs shelter this year for her husband. He needed to be there because he needed to be sure he had electricity. She wanted to compliment the entire city and county, she said.

This building was just completed about two weeks ago behind Ferrel’s Market, and they converted it into a shelter, she explained. “Those people were just awesome. I cannot tell you.” She said they had two police officers there to protect them, and they had everything they needed to take care of the patients. She said she went over during the day because the Lord allowed the good weather, so she would go sit with her husband. She said they went above and beyond in all measures, and she cannot give them enough pats on the back.

“All the workers were so helpful, and it was just a wonderful experience,” she said. “Our county is so blessed. It had to have been hard for them as well.” She said Mayor Dowling Watford even stopped in for a visit to see how everyone was doing and to check on the situation.

“Kudos to all the service personnel in Okeechobee County!” she said. “We appreciate you leaving your families to serve ours.”

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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