Chief executive officer of the Kingston Public Hospital, Burknell Stewart, said the reports of flooding at the hospital were overstated. This statement came after videos of flood waters at the hospital, due to tropical storm Elsa, were circulated on social media platforms. “To say it was a flood is overstated,” said Stewart. “The leaks that we had were maybe minor leaks from the windows and minor roof leaks, nothing too major,” said Stewart.
He noted that the water at the hospital was due to poor drainage. “In some of the areas, the drains did not have the capacity for the downpour,” said Stewart. He added that the hospital was built over 200 years ago and has been expanded over time. Because of this, he said, the hospital’s drainage system was old. Stewart reported that the drains had been cleaned in preparation for the storm and the engineering department from the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) was in communication with the government in order to fix the issue.
However, Errol Greene, regional director of the South East Regional Health Authority, said he had not seen a report from the CEO or a representative from KPH, as yet. “I saw a number of drains that were poorly maintained and, of course, given the volume of water, that would overwhelm any situation,” said Greene. He mentioned that this became evident to him after seeing images and visiting the hospital on Sunday. “What I saw was a lot of debris because the drains that should carry the water were a bit overwhelmed,” said Greene.
The hospital’s CEO noted that some of the offices were affected, and staff helped with the cleanup exercise to facilitate the resumption of operations as quickly as possible.