Updated: U-M cancer center evacuated after water main break floods tunnels
A major water main break on Tuesday at the University of Michigan Medical Center flooded utility tunnels and required evacuation of the first three levels of the cancer center.
Electricity was shut off in the cancer center and the facility was running off generator power. Phone service in the cancer center was also down.
The cancer center was to be closed for patient care Tuesday night and all day Wednesday due to flooding in the lower levels and a lack of power in the building. Affected patients are being contacted, U-M said.
The flood also knocked the west elevators out of service at University Hospital, but otherwise damage to the hospital was minimal and patient care there was not affected, the message said.
U-M also said there was no impact on care at the Cardiovascular Center, the Taubman Center or the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital building.
The break happened at 1:30 p.m., U-M Health System spokeswoman Nicole Fawcett said. Some patients were undergoing infusions when the power went out after the break, but the center immediately switched to backup generators, she said. All non-emergency procedures were then canceled. Patients were evacuated without incident, she said.
The cancer center has four patient floors, with research floors above that.
“We have dozens of physicians and staff working to ensure that our patients receive the best care with as little inconvenience as possible. Everyone is pitching in,” Max M. Wicha, M.D., director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a press release.
Because of water damage to some communications equipment in the flood area, phone calls to some areas of the medical campus may not go through on the first try this evening and overnight, U-M said. Patients and others trying to make phone calls this evening or overnight were advised to try again if they experience any problems.