• HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital flooded and lost part of its roof.
  • Water poured into the top floor, including onto ICU patients.
  • Only two of the four hospital floors were usable.

A Florida hospital was hit with a double-battering from Hurricane Ian as floodwaters crept into the lowest level and strong winds damaged the roof of the building, leaving the top level vulnerable. HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital is located in Port Charlotte, Florida, one of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Ian.

Dr. Birgit Bodine planned to stay at the hospital to attend to a potential surge of hurricane-related injuries. “But, we didn’t anticipate that the roof would blow off on the fourth floor,” she told the Associated Press.

Near Port Charlotte, winds gusts as high as 132 mph were recorded at a private weather station, with sustained wind speeds of 115 mph. These extremely strong winds damaged the hospital’s fourth-floor roof. Water poured down onto top-floor patients, including ICU patients on ventilators; Hospital staff had to evacuate many patients from that floor while attempting to curb the flow of incoming stormwater.

Meanwhile, on the hospital’s lower level, storm surge was creeping higher and higher, eventually flooding parts of the building. This left the hospital able to use only two of its four floors.

“The ambulances may be coming soon and we don’t know where to put them in the hospital at this point,” Bodine told The Associated Press. “Because we’re doubled and tripled up.”

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