NORWOOD (CBS) – Norwood Hospital has been shut down temporarily after nearly six inches of rain fell in just a few hours, flooding the complex late Sunday.
At least 100 patients have been evacuated and about 30-to-40 more will be moved to other hospitals Monday.
“The hospital is not closing. The hospital is temporarily closed right now. It’s the safest thing for our patients,” Norwood Hospital president Dr. Salvatore Perla told reporters at a news conference Monday morning. “Today our focus is getting patients safely out.”
The evacuations began when water rose rapidly in the parking lot around 6:30 p.m. Sunday and then got as high as four feet in the basement, knocking out electricity. Two people were temporarily trapped, but no one was hurt.
“When I saw water, I was so confused. When I saw waves of water I was like, ‘oh this is for real,” said Manoag Sigue, who works in the hospital’s basement, where water burst through the door. “I had to run for my own safety because I don’t know how to swim, so I ran, and I tripped and fell a couple times… I couldn’t believe my own eyes.”
Sigue and his coworker Silvio Fernandes returned to the parking lot Monday to get belongings from their cars that were underwater when they escaped the night before.
“Water was everywhere,” said Fernandes. “Every stairway was blocked too because a lot of vending machines, everything was floating.”
Forecasters said 5.75 inches of rain fell in Norwood late Sunday afternoon and evening, turning several roads into rivers and flooding homes and cars. The storm also brought down trees in some neighborhoods and there were scattered power outages.
Photos: June 28 Flood And Storm Damage
All roads in town were open and electricity was restored Monday morning, according to town manager Tony Mazzucco.
“We haven’t seen rainfall this heavy in at least 25 years, if not a little longer,” he told reporters.
“It’s been since 1998 that I can remember a storm that’s looked like this,” said Norwood Police Chief William Brooks.
Pumping operations continued at the hospital Monday morning. It’s not clear yet when the entire complex will reopen.
If you have a loved one at the hospital and want to find out where they’ve been transferred to, call 781-769-4000 and have their first and last name ready.
Anyone needing emergency treatment in the Norwood area can go to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro or Beth Israel Deaconess in Needham.