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Flood Waters Seep Into Hospitals

By Robin Erb, Detroit Free Press
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Aug. 12--At least two metro Detroit hospitals were forced to move patients Monday evening as flood waters began seeping into lower levels and a third hospital sent staff out to buy food for patients after up to a foot of water collected in its basement, which houses food storage.

Some emergency departments also were forced to redirect patients as the pounding rains continued into the evening Monday.

Oakwood Hospital-Dearborn has "significant damage" to its basement, forcing it to close down food service at least temporarily. It also had to send ambulances elsewhere, said spokesman Scott Spielman.

Staff made a middle-of-the-night run to Meijer to buy continental-type food -- muffins and bagels, for example -- for patients for breakfast, and the hospital was forced to cater lunch, he said.

Insurance officials had not arrived to assess damage this afternoon, but Spielman said it most likely will take several days to renovate.

Henry Ford Health System moved patients from first floor rooms at Wyandotte and its emergency department, like the lower-level emergency department at Oakwood, began accepting only walk-in patients Monday. It is expected to begin accepting ambulances again this afternoon, according to Dave Olejarz, Henry Ford spokesman.

-- Photo gallery: Rain floods metro Detroit's roads, freeways -- Mobile users tap here

Administrative offices also were flooded at Henry Ford's Kingswood Hospital in Ferndale.

Main hospital operations were not affected at either site, Olejarz said.

But some outpatient providers were affected as well.

At the Henry Ford Medical Center in Sterling Heights, a nearby creek spilled over the entryway, prompting the temporary closure of the outpatient clinic, which also offers 24-hour emergency services, Olejarz said. It has since reopened.

In Berkley, programs at the outpatient Beaumont Medical Center are closed until further notice because of flooding.

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In Madison Heights, the Detroit Medical Center'sSurgery Hospital, has water on its first floor.

Patient care was not affected, but electricity was shut off as a precaution in parts of the hospital, necessitating the transfer of 20 patients to other DMC facilities. The Surgery Hospital, which primarily serves orthopaedic patients who need elective surgery, will remain closed while the water is being removed from the lower level, and some surgeries are being rescheduled.

Contact Robin Erb at rerb@freepress.com at 313-222-2708. Follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/FreepHealth.

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(c)2014 the Detroit Free Press

Visit the Detroit Free Press at www.freep.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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