Flood Causes Thousands to Evacuate Hospital, University in Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa and FRANKLIN, Ind. – A major flood in Iowa has caused the cancellation of classes at the University of Iowa and the evacuation of nearly 200 patients at Mercy Medical Center.

Two inches of rain flooded the emergency room at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids causing 176 patients to be evacuated to other hospitals throughout the region. Officials believed that the flooding would knock out the generator and immediately began evacuating the facility.

Sixteen buildings at the University of Iowa were damaged as a result of the floodwaters. As much as 8 feet of water filled some of the buildings on the campus.

Staff members at the university were told to stay away from the area unless they worked in patient care, utilities, security or other services. The hospital on the campus remained open with a full surgical, according to campus officials.

On June 15, authorities removed paintings, books and documents out of the university’s museum. Officials said they never imagined the water levels climbing as high as they did.

More than 10,000 students have enrolled in the university’s summer session. Officials have decided not to close the school because of the floods. In order to make up for lost time, some professors have decided to hold classes several minutes longer or have their classes meet on Saturdays.Additionally, floodwaters in Indiana are forcing the Columbus Regional Hospital to be shut down for 6-8 weeks while repairs are done to the emergency room although it has not been decided when full operations at the hospital will resume. More than 1,750 hospital employees will continue to receive their pay and benefits while repairs are done to the facility.

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