Friday the 20th July started with an innocent pitter-patter of raindrops, as almost every morning does during the rainy season. By late morning it was clear the drainage ditch bringing water under the road in front of the hospital was in trouble. It had been about 5 years since the last flash flood had swamped the hospital, but immediately, the hospital staff went into high-gear to move all the equipment and medications to the higher ground of the inpatient annex and above the level of the flood waters. The Saha Christian School next-door closed classes early, and sent us their older students to help sandbag off and seal the front and rear entrances to the building. Unfortunately while they were battling at those fronts, the floodwaters came up rising up through the sewers and the toilets.
The little army of volunteers barricaded the CT room with plastic liners and sandbags, and scooped with anything that could hold water, while water pumps were set up. After a couple hours of valiantly battling the rising tide of murky water, it began to recede towards the OR and labour and delivery rooms, where the waters were deepest.
By the end of the day, with much sweat and elbow-grease, we had mopped up the outpatient area, the ER and OR. The CT room only had 2 cm of water sneak in, and after a quick check, we left the CT room sandbagged overnight for safekeeping.
Nearly everything is functional again, except a non-portable x-ray machine, and we are waiting for the electronics for the server portion of the CT machine to dry out a bit more before the technicians inspect it and we risk turning the power back on.
Our rainy season lasts until the end of October, so we are praying that this does not happen again. We will be ready though, and it was such a blessing to see everyone working together in the smelly water to get the hospital cleaned up and running again!