"Due to the failure of the city's water pump, it is in the best interest of our current patients to transfer to other acute care facilities," the hospital said in a statement. "Due to the city-wide lack of services, we have no other alternative but to discontinue all services which will include emergency services. This is being done immediately."
Leaders at CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital decided to remain open Thursday, but they put out a message that its emergency and trauma center will be open for only urgent cases and patients who are seriously injured, in order to be sure they have enough water for the 256 patients still at the hospital.
The hospital said it has two water wells that can keep the facility running. Drinking water is stored on campus for exactly this kind of emergency, and hospital administrators believe they can bring in more potable water if necessary. But even with water conservation protocols, there is enough for only medical staff and patients. Hospital leaders strongly encouraged family members not to visit unless absolutely necessary.
"We are sheltering in place with our remaining patients who require hospitalization, and have enough supplies to continue to provide high-quality care for the next several days," Trevino said. "Our faith remains steadfast that our community will continue to persevere in this crisis."
The Medical Center of Southeast Texas in Port Arthur remains open, even with its parking lot submerged. Staff members have improvised a system to get patients to the hospital.
An air boat carries passengers to the Medical Center of Southeast Texas.
People who need the hospital's help must get to a meeting point where a dump truck can take them through the high water to the perimeter of the property. A boat then takes them to the hospital, spokeswoman Joanie Brady said.
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Brookdale Dowlen Oaks, a nursing care facility in Beaumont, is also doing what it can to stay open. It has an emergency supply of water on hand, and "residents and associates are doing well and are well-cared-for" while the staff is doing "steadfast" and "heroic" work, spokeswoman Heather Hunter said.