Iberia Medical Center is continuing to make progress on the damage done to the Main Campus during the Dec. 14 tornado that wreaked havoc on the facility.
CEO Dionne Viator said at Wednesday’s Iberia Parish Council meeting that although patients and staff were kept safe when the tornado occurred, damage to several facilities occurred during the storm.
“The way the tornado hit us, it wiped out our material management building,” Viator said. “The hospital had a lot of broken glass and the pressure of the tornado damaged the windows.”
When the tornado hit, Viator said the medical offices were evacuated into the hospital to keep everyone safe.
“When the code was announced, everyone got into the most sturdy building we had, which was the hospital,” she said. “It was like we were turned upside down.”
The IMC is working through the process to continue repairs to the Main Campus, with Viator saying that the campus will look like its had a “nice facelift” by the end of the calendar year.
“We’ve made a lot of progress,” she said. “We now have the permanent roof back on. We’ve done reroofing to our IT and Human Resources.”
Viator said the biggest question she’s gotten is when the windows that had glass shattered will be repaired. Along with the broken windows, Viator said the windows that weren’t shattered will also need to be replaced due to the tornado pressure breaking the seals on those windows as well.
“We thought we would only have to change the broken ones, but the ones that weren’t broken had the seals broken by the pressure, so we’ve gotten rain intrusion,” she said.
The hospital is working with engineers to test the glass that will need to be purchased for the steel curtain wall that the windows rest on. Viator said once the glass is ordered, it will take about three months for the order to be delivered. The CEO estimated that new glass to be enclosed on the building by the end of the year.
“We’re working on a schedule to get all of this done, and our staff has been tremendous in working with us,” she said.