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Governor Brian Kemp tours Grady Hospital for first time after pipe burst

Roughly 220 patient beds on three floors were damaged in the flooding on Dec. 7.

ATLANTA — On the Monday before Christmas, Governor Brian Kemp got his first look at the damage and repairs underway at Grady Memorial Hospital after a 24-inch pipe burst.

The damage was extensive. Roughly 220 patient beds on three floors were damaged in the flooding on Dec. 7. 

It's turned into a big issue since the hospital is one of only a few level-one trauma centers in metro Atlanta. And it's putting stress on other nearby hospitals, as the hospital was forced to transfer existing patients and divert new patients from Grady.

The situation forced Kemp to declare a state of emergency to allow for assistance to flow more freely and quickly. He toured the hospital Monday, to see how the repairs are going.

The governor said it was important to come here to Grady to look at the damage first-hand as they continue to put more resources into fixing the critical issue. 

As the repairs continue, the hospital brought in a 30-bed mobile hospital unit to help Grady take in more patients. But, the governor said local help has played a major role, too. Nearby hospitals stepped up to take in Grady patients, Georgia Power chipped in with generators and Home Depot helped to dry out the hospital.

RELATED: Grady Hospital to resume accepting some patients as flood damage repairs continue

This was the governor's first visit to the hospital since the flooding, and he said he was amazed at the progress. Kemp said they'll continue to keep a close eye on the progress.

"I didn't have to understand what the damage was going to be like. I knew. If you pour a gallon of water out on the floor, it's a lot. Water coming out of a 24-inch water main, literally destroys streets when it happens underground," Kemp explained. "The damage is as severe as you can imagine, but they're on top of it. They have a lot of mitigation to do before you can start the construction back to make sure there are no lingering effects."

11Alive has been told it will take up to three months to complete all the repairs. 


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