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Mercy Evacuates Patients as Floodwaters Rise

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CEDAR RAPIDS Due to the rising flood waters in downtown Cedar Rapids and the uncertainty associated with the eventual crest, Mercy Medical Center, 701 10th St. SE, has initiated an evacuation order to take effect immediately.

From the onset of this historic disaster, Mercy's Incident Command Center has been in full operation dealing with crisis preparations and considering all potential scenarios. Since going on emergency backup power at approximately 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Mercy has been in close contact with state and local officials and has determined this to be a necessary course of action to ensure the health and well-being of patients.

"Our hope was to continue to operate and serve our patients as we always have, " says Tim Charles, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center. "Unfortunately, this has become a disaster of unpredictable and potentially catastrophic proportions. As a result, we feel this action is necessary."

Currently, Mercy's 176 patients, including those residing at Hallmar, the nursing home facility located within the hospital, are being evacuated and diverted to other hospitals in the region as directed by the State. Critical patients are being transferred first by ambulance, followed by non-critical patients. The evacuation is being coordinated by Mercy Medical Center, Gov. Chet Culver's office, Linn County Emergency Management Agency and the State Emergency Operations Center with assistance from the National Guard.

A help line has been established for concerned family and friends. Questions may be directed to Mercy's Pastoral Care Department at 319-398-6106. Mercy employees scheduled to work should contact their immediate supervisor for information.