It will likely be spring before repairs are complete following a massive water main break at Grady Memorial Hospital.
That means the facility will continue diverting some patients to other Atlanta hospitals as it has been doing past two weeks, following the Dec. 7 incident that caused major flooding.
Gov. Brian Kemp said the timing of the break, on the same weekend when thousands of visitors were downtown for the SEC championship game, could have been catastrophic. But he applauded Grady staff along with the community for its response.
Kemp toured the facility Monday morning, the first time he’d been there since the water main break.
“Water coming out of a 24-inch water main literally destroys streets when it happens underground,” Kemp said. “So, you know the damage is severe as you can imagine, but they are on top of it. But they have a lot of mitigation to do.”
Shortly after the water main break, Kemp declared an emergency to help with resources.
Kemp’s office helped Grady set up a climate-controlled mobile hospital facility right outside. It came from North Carolina’s emergency management department.
“You know an additional 30 beds helped move the needle for Grady. And this was the best solution, and I’m glad the state could be helpful in participating in that,” Kemp said.
A Grady spokeswoman said the normal emergency room area would be used for patients who required overnight stays, while the mobile facility would be used to treat those coming to the ER.
She said flood damage has temporarily reduced the number of hospital beds the hospital can fill by more than a quarter.