Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Care-home residents moved due to flooding

Water-main break forces evacuation of Golden West

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It could be days before residents can return to a St. Charles nursing home following a water-main break that flooded the basement late Sunday.

In the meantime, 113 residents of the Golden West Centennial Lodge at 811 School Rd. have been moved to three nearby nursing homes, with some staying in multipurpose rooms.

The nursing home is owned and managed by the Salvation Army in co-operation with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

Wayne Bungay, division commander for the Salvation Army's Prairie division, said it might not be clear until today or Wednesday how bad the damage is and how long it might take to repair.

It's not clear what caused the break, but Bungay said it was unusual.

The break was first detected at 11 p.m. Sunday and city crews tried to manage it, though the main was on private property.

By 2 a.m., officials determined the water threatened the building's electrical and phone systems and also meant the building had little access to clean water, vital in a health-care facility.

Golden West began moving its residents at 6 a.m. to the West Park Manor on Grant Avenue, to Deer Lodge and to Oakview Place, nearby on Ness Avenue.

Residents were able to take some personal effects, with the help of a convoy of wheelchair vans, paramedics and stretcher services.

About a quarter of the residents can walk, but many had to be carried down stairs because the elevator wasn't working.

Bungay said the lodge has an emergency plan, and staff executed the evacuation calmly and efficiently. Many of the lodge's 165 staff will continue to care for the residents at their temporary locations, to maintain continuity.

The city has a shortage of nursing-home beds and finding more permanent placements for 113 people could be tricky, said WRHA officials. If Golden West's closure stretches into weeks, that's what will need to happen, which could put further pressure on the long-term-care system.

It's the second nursing home to be evacuated due to flooding in the past two months.

On Easter Sunday in late April, the WRHA moved 86 residents to the River Ridge Retirement Home after flooding at Golden Links Lodge, 2280 St. Mary's Road.

That flood knocked out the heat, power and mechanical systems in the basement. The building was evacuated and 86 residents were put up temporarily in four other personal-care homes.

River Ridge Retirement Residence, located in West Kildonan at 50 Ridgecrest Ave., is owned by All Seniors Care Residences. It is expected the temporary location will be home for several months until Golden Links is fit to live in again.

 

maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 20, 2014 B3

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