By Christina Hager

NORWOOD (CBS) – For Linda Barton and other nurses at Norwood Hospital, when it rains, it pours.

“We feel gobsmacked, just knocked over,” said Barton.

She took pictures of the towels she threw, trying to soak up floodwater gushing into Norwood Hospital’s intensive care unit Sunday.

“Water started coming in from the ceiling, and the power went out,” she said.

The Town of Norwood declared a state of emergency Tuesday, seeking state and federal aid.

Ironically, Barton says she was actually excited at first to see the rain, which she needed to fill her pool at home. She envisioned finally being able to relax after a relentless frontline battle with coronavirus.

Barton spoke with WBZ-TV in March, as the surge of COVID-19 cases approached. She was overwhelmed after a particularly busy shift.

“I have to call uncle. It’s too much, too much. I need help,” she said at the time.

Three months later, came Sunday’s flood.

“I don’t think we had even able to process all of the emotion that went into all the deaths, how sick patients were, and what we did as a group,” she said.

Gov. Charlie Baker said it’s unknown how long the hospital will be shut down.

“I think all the buildings at this point have been either considered to be significantly damaged or condemned,” he said.

Nicholas Puleo, a spokesperson for the hospital’s parent company, Steward Health Care, sent a statement about the damage.

“We are just 72 hours out from a major flooding event and are continuing to assess damage and next steps,” he said.

“We’re all just kind of a little shell-shocked,” said Kathy Reardon, a Massachusetts Nurses Association union representative working to help displaced Norwood nurses find jobs at other Steward Health Care hospitals.

“They are the heroes in this situation right now absolutely … again,” Reardon said.

Barton just filed for unemployment benefits for the first time in her life. She said she will be ready for whatever is next.

“I think we’re all in a state of utter disbelief,” said Barton. “We’re going to get back up again.”

Christina Hager

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