CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. – Less than four full days after 22 patients were evacuated from the emergency department at Mercy Hospital Jefferson because of flash flooding, patients began returning to the restored facility.
Beginning about 11 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1, torrential rains in the area brought several inches of water into the ground floor of the hospital and caused significant damage in the Emergency Department, and several other hospital areas. With damage to flooring, drywall, equipment and furniture, original estimates suggested the emergency room and other areas on the ground floor may have been relocated for up to two weeks.
“With the cooperation of our co-workers, construction teams, and restoration crews, the Emergency Department reopened less than 96 hours after the flood water entered,” said Mercy Jefferson president Eric Ammons. “By working feverishly through the past four days, the area has been restored and returned to service.”
Throughout the emergency restoration, patients continued to receive emergency treatment and no one was turned away, he said.
“Our conference center was converted into an emergency treatment area, and throughout the busy holiday weekend, patients in need of emergency care were treated there and in the infusion center,” Ammons said.
At 10:15 p.m. Sunday, the first patients were relocated back to the emergency department. By 11:24 p.m., all emergency patients were being treated in the original location, and local Emergency Medical Services were notified that the hospital could accept all incoming patients.
Also returning to service on Monday in restored facilities are the physician offices on the ground floor of the South Medical Office Center, the pre-operative and post-op areas of the ambulatory treatment center, and outpatient therapy services in the north Medical Office Center, said John Farnen, Mercy executive director for strategic projects.
Other areas will be coming back online throughout the week. On Tuesday, the admitting waiting area is expected back in service and the infusion center will return to its ground floor location, he said. On Wednesday, the retail pharmacy, helicopter ambulance crew quarters and IT classrooms are expected to return to their original locations.
“Minor finishing work in the Emergency Department and other areas will be completed in sequenced phases without interrupting patient care,” Farnen said.
Farnen is on-site at Mercy Jefferson as construction manager for a $135 million project that includes a new 90-room patient tower and conversion of the hospital to all private patient rooms. Hospital co-workers, construction teams and restoration crews worked around the clock to repair damged areas.
“The support and resources from Mercy in responding to our needs has been incredible,” Ammons said. “It took a lot of hard work and resources from so many people, and because of that the Emergency Department is fully operational, and we are now accepting all patients.”