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Flood Damages Tuolumne General

The flood that ripped through Sonora late Friday flooded Tuolumne General Hospital as well as several dozen other businesses.

“There was three feet of water in the basement,” said Kary Hubbard, an Emergency Operations spokeswoman. “The fire department was sandbagging to divert some of the water.”

By Saturday morning, the water was gone but the problems remained.

“The boilers are still out and one elevator is not functioning,” she said. “The emergency room is fine and the patients who were there at the time are fine, but they can´t have anyone in the I.C.U. (intensive care unit), and they can´t do any surgeries.”

Hospital officials are working today to get repairs made and back up to full service.

Hubbard said the extensive construction for the new East Sonora Bypass and Sonora Community Hospital were part of the problem, but mostly it was a matter of too much rain too fast.

“Most definitely all that construction had to have an impact,” she said. “I know it had am impact on the roads. On the loop road in the city, there are stories of people who had to walk away from their cars.”

Hubbard said that both major construction projects had proper erosion controls in place, but they simply weren´t adequate to hold back the downpour.

City and county crews worked all night, with all hands they could get.

“We had an inmate crew helping sandbag,” she said. “County public works was stretched to the max. The city´s public works was stretched to the max. All law enforcement (employees) were on. People were called back from holidays.”

But there was only so much people could do.

“There was just so much water so fast.”