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Storm Damages Phoenix VA Days After Hospital Returned To Full Operations

Storm damage is preventing the Phoenix VA Health Care System from accepting emergency room admissions for the second time in about two weeks.

Monday night’s deluge left 65 patient beds, 39 patient rooms and 8 offices unusable, said Jean Schaefer, public affairs officer for the Phoenix VA.

“We ended up with water coming in through the windows, and in some buildings on our campus, water came in through the roof," Schaefer said.

To deal with the loss of space, staff has rotated patients to different beds within the hospital and canceled some procedures that require overnight stays, Schaefer said.

An Aug. 31 monsoon storm forced the VA to transfer patients to other hospitals and Schaefer said the hospital had just returned to full operations last Friday. She hopes the pair of destructive storms’ impact on the facility is a once in a lifetime event.

“Certainly this is disruptive to the healthcare that we want to deliver to veterans. But I have to tell you that one of the things it has shown is our ability to pull together as a team to make sure that the patients get the care they deserve," she said.

Room-to-room damage assessments were ongoing Tuesday morning, Schaefer said. A timeline for completing repairs has not been established.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.