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Frigid temps wreak havoc at CMH, causing ceiling, water damage

Jan 17, 2022 6:00 am

Bill Williams is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media a part of the Columbia Memorial Health hospital building in Hudson was closed off early Jan. 16, after the hospital's sprinkler system froze because of a power outage, resulting in some flooding. Part of the hospital's emergency department and the imaging area were affected by the water damage, CMH spokesperson Bill Van Slyke said. Hudson firefighters were called to Columbia Memorial after water from the sprinkler system caused ceiling tiles to fall. Ambulance traffic was temporarily redirected, but the emergency department remained open and available for walk-in care. "We expect the impacted areas will be back in operation later today or tomorrow," Van Slyke said later in the day Jan. 16. He said the large power outage that impacted more than 5,000 Columbia County National Grid customers early on Jan. 16 was to blame for the hospital's flooding. The power outage caused cold air to infiltrate a mechanical area above the imaging unit and emergency department, causing a sprinkler head to freeze and burst. Columbia Memorial ran on generator power for several hours before the sprinkler head froze. When the generator is activated, air louvers are automatically opened, which let enough cold air in to freeze the sprinkler head, said Nick Pierro, Hudson Fire Department's 2nd assistant chief. During the power outage, outdoor temperatures hovered around minus two degrees Fahrenheit. When firefighters arrived around 5:40 a.m., they found multiple ceiling tiles had fallen and a lot of water, Pierro said. Firefighters and Columbia County emergency personnel remained on the scene for several hours Sunday morning. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.