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Golden Links seniors will be displaced for weeks

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Food is removed from Golden Links Lodge after basement flooding left the building without power Sunday.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Food is removed from Golden Links Lodge after basement flooding left the building without power Sunday. Photo Store

The loss of heat, light and water to a flood means dozens of residents of a St. Vital personal care home will be out of their rooms for weeks, not days, according to the latest update.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority issued the bad news today, a day after a flooded basement forced the evacuation of 86 residents and their staff on Easter Sunday.

Now that it looks like the residents will be out of their personal care home for some time, there’s more news for families to absorb.

The WHRA is looking for a new location, too, one that can act as a nursing home until the Golden Links Lodge facility is back on line.

"We are in the process of contacting those families now that we know it’s likely going to be longer than a couple of days," said Lori Lamont, WRHA’s vice president and chief nursing officer.

Five of the 86 residents went home for Easter Sunday and the rest were sent to other nursing homes.

WRHA officials started to scout around today for a building that could temporarily become a substitute for the Golden Links personal care home until the St. Vital location is refurbished for them.

"We are currently, because the people at the four sites are accommodated in a large (open) space and there isn’t a tremendous amount of privacy, we are looking at another option where all the residents can be accommodated (together)," Lamont said.

"It requires an empty space somewhere," she said. "We don’t (have one) in the health system. At this point we are exploring options with government and others. I can’t be more specific," Lamont said.

Easter Sunday, Lamont said officials would not know where the water came from until it was completely pumped out, but since city crews shut off the water main outside, the health authority was confident no new water was coming in.

A day later, the news wasn’t nearly as good. "There is still significant water in the basement and there are indications there is still water seeping into the basement. But we don’t have source for it," Lamont said.

Until the water is stopped, health officials have no option but to plan for a long-term evacuation.

Heat, power and mechanical systems, all located in the basement, were knocked out by the flood. "We need to get in there, we need to get the damage assessed, the repairs done and the clean-up," Lamont said.

"We’re thinking in terms of weeks, not days."

In the meantime, the residents and staff are split among four, not three personal care homes, as reported yesterday.

They include the nearby St. Amant Centre, Vista Park Lodge and both the St. Vital and St. Boniface locations of Actionmarguerite.

Those accommodations are, however, temporary, with resident initially expected to be there for 48- to 72 hours.

Now that officials realize the situation is more serious, they are looking for alternate accommodation, that will allow them reunite residents and staff in a single location.

History

Updated on Monday, April 21, 2014 at 4:28 PM CDT: Corrects spelling of Lori Lamont.

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