Surrey Memorial Hospital’s emergency room flooded
Workers contend with flooding at the Surrey Memorial Hospital Emergency Room in Surrey, Monday Nov. 19, 2012. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)
Parts of Surrey Memorial Hospital were evacuated early Monday as a water-main rupture flooded the emergency room and left fire crews scrambling to contain the tide.
The rupture left some patients and hospital staff wading in ankle-deep water as the torrent flowed out into the parking lot.
“The first thing they want to try to do is mitigate the damage they can by diverting the water into drainage and pumps,” said Surrey deputy fire chief Jon Caviglia.
Mounties were also called in to help evacuate and attend to patients, some of which were transferred to nearby hospitals.
“The details provided stated there was about two feet of water inside the emergency room,” Cpl. Bert Paquet said.
Fraser Health Authority, which oversees the hospital, said the emergency room was evacuated after the water main broke just before 9 a.m., reportedly damaged by nearby excavators.
The leak was contained by early afternoon, Fraser Health spokeswoman Tasleem Juma said.
Of particular concern to the hospital is potential damage to the first floor medical imaging room, home to various pieces of expensive electronic equipment.
“Diagnostic imaging is everything from MRI to X-rays, CT scans, all those other types of tests that can be ordered,” Juma said. “That was also an area that was affected.”
Patients were advised to avoid Surrey Memorial Hospital, if possible, as all non-essential surgeries have been postponed.
The hospital’s water supply was assessed by a medical health officer and deemed uncontaminated. Signs were posted in some washrooms warning the water was undrinkable.
The emergency room will remain closed until at least Tuesday, possibly longer, Juma said.