The emergency room at St. Joseph's  Hospital is fully open on Tuesday to walk-in patients and ambulances, as the hospital continues to recover from a devastating flood.

On Jan. 8, a fire hose pipe on the second floor of the downtown hospital burst and flooded 12 operating rooms and a sterilization room, forcing the hospital to close its ER. St. Joe's has since managed to restore the sterilization room and four operating rooms, with the goal of getting 10 ORs up and running by Wednesday.

Dr. David Higgins, St. Joe's president, said he's eager to get his ER up and running to "relieve the pressure" on other Hamilton ERs like Hamilton General and Juravinski that have been dealing with an increased number of patients during the last week.

Hamilton Health Sciences has declared a Code Orange Standby, allowing more doctors and nurses to be deployed to other city hospitals to cope with the influx of St. Joe's patients.

On Sunday, some 124 people attended the ER at St. Joe's, which normally gets around 180 patients a day. On Monday, the hospital accepted about 30 per cent of its usual ambulance traffic.