Malfunctioning Sprinkler System Causes Water Damage to VA - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Malfunctioning Sprinkler System Causes Water Damage to VA

by Justin Kree
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING- A major clean up effort is going on inside the VA hospital after a malfunctioning sprinkler system dumped approximately 50,000 gallons of water down the third floor hallway.

"We were installing a new sprinkler system throughout the whole medical center. When they started to pressure it up Sunday evening and test some of the valves, one of them failed," Iva Jo Hanslik, Community Relations Coordinator for the VA Hospital in Big Spring, said.

Once crews realized what was happening, they quickly sprung to action shutting off the water. Unfortunately, damage had already been done.

"A lot of water damage in our laboratory section and our Radiology Department. Of course, the water comes down to the first floor," Hanslik said.

Hanslik tells NewsWest 9 that Veterans medical records are kept in a secure network known as computerized medical records system. With the water affecting the computer system, the hospital switched over to wireless. They will use wireless until the damaged server can be fixed.

"The two areas hardest hit will be functioning with wireless capability. We are using this so those reports can continue to funnel into the computerized medical records," Hanslik said.

Some departments even had to be moved around so business can still go on while the hospital continues to dry out. Hanslik says that all operating room procedures have been halted for the day. All other parts of the hospital are functioning as scheduled.

"It's just a slight disruption. Doctors and nurses are still doing exams as planned," Hanslik said

Hanslik says that the quick action and long hours put in by the clean up crew has made this more of a technical problem than a water damage problem.

"Once we get our electrical panels and IT panels back and fully operational, we'll never know anything happened. At this point, we are more concerned about taking care of our Veterans and we don't anticipate this being a very big deal," Hanslik said.

Any questions veterans may have about their appointments are urged to call the hospital at 432-263-7361.
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