Hospitals Assess Damage as Ida Moves Inland

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor, Facility Market
September 2, 2021

Terry Kelly /

Nature always bats last.

For months, hospitals across the Gulf Coast prepared for hurricane season, reinforcing facilities and rehearsing emergency response plans — even as they battled the surge of COVID-19 cases driven by the delta variant. Then Hurricane Ida blew ashore and tore up the plans of many healthcare facility managers.

Hurricane Ida pummeled hospitals Sunday night in Louisiana, as doctors and nurses continued treating patients despite the unrelenting winds outside, according to WWL.

Hospital officials expected to evacuate all patients at Ochsner St. Anne Hospital in Raceland and Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Houma to other facilities when wind conditions calm down.

The worst of the damage was at the St. Anne facility, where the roof was damaged and a section above an elevator blew out, rendering that elevator unusable. Windows were blown out in two patient rooms, but hospital leaders say the windows are double-paned and nobody was hurt there or elsewhere.

System-wide, Ochsner Health reports roof damage and water leaks at several of its facilities. Hospitals have gone to back-up generator power in New Orleans and the Bayou region, to name a few.

In Galliano, Louisiana, the hurricane ripped off a portion of the roof from the Lady of the Sea General Hospital on Sunday, according to Houma Today.

Video posted to Twitter showed a large section of the roof peeling off and shredding as Ida's winds whipped through Galliano, about 30 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and Port Fourchon, where Ida made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.

Lafourche Parish Emergency Preparedness Director Chris Boudreaux said a few patients and staff were inside at the time. Hospital administrators said patients had been moved to lower levels of the building before the damage occurred.

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