WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 07, 2013, 06:22 PM

The big mess at Sanford did not cause any problems with patients

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- Incredibly, the fix was quick. But the road to a complete clean-up, will be a long one.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- Incredibly, the fix was quick. But the road to a complete clean-up, will be a long one.

Right now, crews are still working behind me to get water out of the building. They tell me it may be several weeks before things go back to normal. And when you take a look at some of the spots I saw earlier today- you'll see why.

Sanford employees working to cleanup the mess say when it comes to fighting floods in Fargo, they've had some practice.

Jeff Hoss- VP of Primary Care: "it's a situation that we hope never happens but we're very prepared for it here."

The early morning shocker sent water rushing into the clinic's lower levels.

Mike Erickson- Sanford Executive Director of Facilities: "It just was a perfect storm"

Including offices and classrooms, a utility room, And a tunnel connecting the two buildings on each side of Broadway.

Erickson: "we've got a majority of the water out and now it's just working on cleaning up the sediment."

Right now there's still several inches of water and sand running through Sanford's basements, but once you get beyond this door and into the tunnel, water is up to four feet in some spots.

Hoss: "all the areas we have pumps running to try to get the water out of that. As you can see, there's a lot of gravel and mud and clay that came in too."

Several tons of debris in fact, along with garbage and dirty water that all has to be taken out to make sure this hospital returns to it's safe and sanitary state.

Erickson: "get the walls opened up, take out the flooring, dry it out, make sure there's not issues with humidity."

The big mess did not cause any problems with patients, as most of them are treated on higher floors.

Brett Storehoff- Sad Had Appointment: "If it was bad enough they would've canceled."

But now it's Sanford's top priority to make sure none of them are affected by all the germs currently lying below.

Storehoff: "I would hope not, I'm sure they got it figured out.

Hoss: "we're not concerned at this point of any interruption of any services that would ever affect any patient of putting anybody at risk."

Sanford employees tell me there's still no word on how much damage was done.. But say they're thankful most of the equipment and people were higher up.