Flooding disrupts hospital

TUESDAY'S flood saw Bellingen Hospital operating under challenging circumstances.

With the entire south side of town without power for more than 20 hours, the hospital was forced to operate on emergency power from its diesel generator.

Chief executive of the North Coast Area Health Service Chris Crawford said emergency supplies of diesel were delivered by the SES on Wednesday afternoon to ensure electricity supply beyond the generator's 18-hour capacity.

He said staffing was another challenge because staff based in Coffs Harbour or Urunga were unable to get to work.

“Again, we were able to liaise with the SES and a helicopter made two trips to bring fresh staff in and take out those staff who had been stuck at work,” Mr Crawford said.

And finally the hospital itself was damaged by the sheer force of the rain on Tuesday.

Leaking roofs were the main problem, which Mr Crawford said would be quickly repaired under the NSW Government's disaster relief funding. “The hospital was isolated but not flooded,” he said.

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