Disney takes beating over reports staff was left on Castaway Cay island to face Cat 5 hurricane

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With Hurricane Dorian, a massive Category 5 storm with recorded wind gusts over 220 mph, barreling down on the Bahamas, a woman took to Twitter to claim Disney left her sister on Castaway Cay, a private island in the Bahamas reserved for Disney Cruise Line guests.

The eye of the 185 mph hurricane passed just to the north of Castaway Cay, leaving catastrophic damage in its wake.

In a series of tweets that have since been deleted, Meg Green railed on Disney for leaving her sister on the island — she has since protected all of her tweets.

“My sister is stuck in the middle of a cat 5 hurricane,” Green tweeted. “We were told they would evacuate and they didn’t. Left them behind!! Why??”

Green appeared to counter a statement from Disney about those left on the island, insisting that they were abandoned.

“They were stuck and had faith in being evacuated. Families had faith, but you did nothing to get them off,” Green tweeted.

It’s not clear how many employees were on the island, but according to Disney’s website, about 60 workers live there year-round — the company enlists hurricane ride-out crews in its Florida theme parks.

Disney did acknowledge in a statement that employees were left on Castaway Cay, but said the island was “south of the more significant weather” and that there was a storm shelter on the island, insisting that the crew was safe.

Company officials were in constant communication via satellite phone every hour, on the hour, according to the Miami Herald, which reported on the sister’s concerns.

The statement from Disney is seen here:

Many of our guests have asked questions about Castaway Cay. Some of our Crew remained on the island and their care and safety is our highest priority. We are in regular contact with island leadership, who is making sure our Crew is well taken care of in our storm shelter, which is designed for these types of situations and has restrooms, power and is well stocked with food and water. Castaway Cay remains south of the more significant weather and is currently experiencing tropical storm force winds, which based on the current forecast, are expected for the next several hours before gradually diminishing. Our thoughts are with the people in areas of The Bahamas that are being impacted by this storm and we stand ready to contribute to recovery efforts.

Kim Prunty, Disney’s vice president of communications and public affairs, responded to Green’s tweets on Sunday evening, before they were deleted.

“Meg, I work for [Disney Cruise Lines] and understand your concern, as they are our co-workers,” she tweeted. “Castaway is south of the more significant weather. DCL is in regular contact with island leadership and all are safe. Forecast calls for tropical storm force winds, which is what is there now.”

“There are extensive measures in place to keep crew safe,” Prunty reassured her in a second tweet. “A shelter on the island houses all crew and is stocked with a plentiful supply of food and water.”

Fair or not, in today’s anti-corporate environment, Disney took a beating on social media over the incident.

Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:

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Tom Tillison

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