“Why is it raining in the elevator?” Flood at QEII VG site causes major problems – Halifax

Posted on: September 26th, 2018 by
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HALIFAX – People visiting family members at the Victoria General site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre Thursday night described the flooding as like seeing “rain in the elevators.”

A pipe burst on on the fifth floor of the Victoria General site at 8:00 p.m. Thursday night, flooding three floors and forcing the immediate evacuation of 50 patients, many of whom were in the ICU.

“We were able to safely move them to other areas for care,” said Janet Knox of the NSHA, adding that hospital staff and first responders had an impressively quick response to the emergency.

As of Friday, 106 non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries had been cancelled, due to the fact that ICU beds were damaged in the flood. Several clinic appointments were also cancelled.

WATCH: Video was contributed to Global Halifax by Eric Theriault, who filmed it last night after the pipe burst.

Knox said it’s too early to estimate how many procedures and surgeries would be cancelled in the coming days and weeks.

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READ MORE: Flood causes relocation of 50 patients, cancels 106 surgeries at QEII VG site

Nancy Risser’s father, 73, was staying on the third floor, and she said half of the third floor was flooded.

“The ICU, the third floor, was a mess,” she said.

She said that at first, it was busy and crowded, but shortly after midnight things started to calm down, and everybody had a room.

“It was really quick, everyone responded really well, patients had full attention,” Risser said.

Her father was able to stay in his room, and more patients were brought into her father’s room, which wasn’t damaged by the flooding.

Patients were moved to other, dry areas in the QEII while the health authority attempts to come up with a plan, but as of right now, the areas affected by the flooding are completely closed off.

“The areas are not accessible now because we have to make sure everything is safe,” said Knox.

Water pools in hallways at the VG site of the QEII Health Centre.

Courtesy Eric Theriault

Oncology, ear-nose-throat and palliative care patients have also been affected by the flood. Many patients were sent home, where it was deemed appropriate.

“Having to be evacuated out of a space when you’re in a hospital, that would be very scary,” said Knox.

Eric Theriault was visiting a patient on the 8th floor when he heard an overhead page saying there was a “code green” on the fifth floor. He then went to investigate, only to find a downpour of water coming through an elevator shaft.

“I was like ‘why is it raining in the elevator?’” he said. “It was just like it was raining indoors, it was surreal.”

Restoration trucks were at the hospital on Friday afternoon and a steady stream of water could be seen being pumped out of the building.

Belfor restoration company on the scene of the Victoria General flood Friday.

Rebecca Lau/Global News

“We’re assessing the rest of the impact,” said Knox, adding that teams will be meeting all weekend, into next week, and for the foreseeable future to create a plan for the process. Knox said damage like this, to buildings like this, takes days, weeks and months to repair.

No equipment was damaged in the flood, Knox confirms.


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