Water issue closes Pontiac hospital to new patients

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Pontiac — The emergency room at McLaren Oakland hospital is closed to new patients after an external water main break flooded parts of the hospital early Friday, according to hospital officials.

The break at Perry and Lawrence streets, at the southwest corner of the hospital, led to “several feet of flooding in the ER,” said Sharyl Smith, vice president of marketing, planning and public relations at the hospital.

Smith said the break happened early Friday morning but she was unsure of an exact time.

Crews on the scene are trying to shut off the water and discover the source of the break, which is affecting other buildings in the area, Smith said.

The hospital won’t know how long its emergency room will be closed until the break is repaired and officials have inspected the department for damages, she said.

“We haven’t even had a chance to get in and really start any sort of assessment,” Smith said. “If you’ve ever had a basement flooded, you know you don’t really have any idea until you can get down there and look around.”

The emergency room is located in the hospital’s East Tower, which was evacuated due to flooding, Smith said. Patients in the East Tower at the time of the break were moved to the hospital’s West Tower, which normally houses in-patient operations. That building has not been affected by flooding, Smith said.

“No patient care has been compromised in the West Tower,” she said. “Our processes are continuing on as normal.”