Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Personal-care home likely shut for weeks because of flooding

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The loss of heat, light and water due to flooding 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 Monday, a day after a flooded basement forced the evacuation of 86 residents and their staff early Sunday.

The WRHA is looking for a new location, too, that can act as a nursing home until the Golden Links Lodge, at 2280 St. Mary's Rd., is reopened.

"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, the 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 Monday to search for a building that could temporarily become a substitute for the Golden Links until the St. Vital location is refurbished.

"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. 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."

On 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 a source for it," Lamont said.

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

The flood knocked out the heat, power and mechanical systems, all in the basement. "We need to get in there, we need to get the damage assessed, the repairs done and the cleanup," 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 Sunday. They include the nearby St. Amant Centre, Vista Park Lodge and both the St. Vital and St. Boniface locations of Actionmarguerite.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 22, 2014 B3

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