Hurricane Ian engulfed a Florida hospital from above and below, the storm surge flooded the lower-level emergency room, while fierce winds ripped off part of the roof of the fourth-floor intensive care unit, according to a doctor who works there.
dr. Birgit Bodine spent the night at HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital in Port Charlotte, expecting the storm to make it crowded, “but we didn’t expect the roof to blow off on the fourth floor,” she said.
Water poured into the ICU from above on Wednesday, forcing staff to evacuate the hospital’s sickest patients — some with ventilators — to other floors. Employees resorted to towels and plastic bins to mop up the soggy mess.
The medium-sized hospital occupies four floors, but due to the damage, patients were forced into only two.
Bodine plans to spend another night in the hospital, when incoming storm injuries could make matters worse.
“The ambulances may be coming soon and we don’t know where to put them in the hospital at the moment,” she said. “Because we’ve doubled and tripled.”
Despite the flooding, Bodine said the patients were mostly understanding and cheerful.
“For us, everything is terrible and we are exhausted … as long as our patients are doing well and no one dies or has a bad outcome, that’s what matters,” Bodine said.