Flooding damages Fort McMurray emergency department, patients temporarily relocated
The emergency department moved back into its space by 3:30 p.m. Sunday
Heavy rain on Saturday caused flooding in a Fort McMurray hospital's emergency department, forcing it to temporarily relocate until Sunday afternoon, Alberta Health Services said.
The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre continued to offer emergency medical services, but was doing so in the ambulatory care area, AHS said in a tweet on Saturday.
Fort McMurray saw about 55 millimetres of rain Saturday, with five to 10 more millimetres of precipitation forecast for Sunday, according to Environment Canada.
- Severe thunderstorm watch, rainfall warning issued for northeast Alberta
- Lesser Slave Lake crews working to contain flood damage to infrastructure
AHS spokesperson Heather Kipling said the flooding at the health centre, located at 7 Hospital Street, started at about 1 p.m.
"Staff responded quickly to relocate patients and critical equipment to the Ambulatory Care area to continue providing care for patients," Kipling said in an emailed statement to CBC News.
"Investigation into the exact locations of water leakage is ongoing, however we can confirm that rainwater from the storm water system did back up into the emergency department, causing the flooding."
Inches of flood water were removed and floor drying began Saturday. Detailed cleaning was completed Sunday and the emergency department moved back into its space by about 3:30 p.m., Kipling said.
Thank you to our patients for their understanding during this time, and to our staff and physicians who acted so quickly and efficiently to safely relocate patients and ensure emergency care continued to be available.—@AHS_NorthZone
The water also damaged the health centre's kitchen and some offices, along with the ceiling in the hallway outside of the operating rooms. The operating rooms were not affected, however.
"The kitchen was able to remain operational, and cleaning is underway in the office spaces," Kipling said. "The ceiling in the OR hallway has been cordoned off for repairs."
Kipling said a damage estimate is not yet available.