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Reports of evacuation at Prince Rupert hospital are false — Northern Health

High winds cause roof damage
Hospital access was closed to the public in an abundance of caution, on Nov. 24, as a loose metal sheet was fixed on the roof. (File photo)

Media reports of an evacuation due to a roof collapse at Prince Rupert Hospital are false, Northern Health advised the public, on Nov. 24.

“Absolutely not true. Totally false,” Eryn Collins, communications manager for Northern Health, told The Northern View.

There may have been a bit of ‘broken telephone’ Collins said referring to her conversation with another media outlet who reported an evacuation.

“What happened was there was a large and quite heavy piece of metal roofing material, like corrugated metal roofing, that the wind got under and flipped over,” said Collins, adding it was still attached but unknown how well.

As an abundance of caution, due to high winds and public safety, some entrances were temporarily closed for a number of hours, but the main entrance remained open.

The fire department was on scene to help hospital staff close off the area while a hired crew fixed the roof, Collins said due to concerns the metal piece would fall from the top of the facility towards the main parking lot. The integrity of the building was not put at any risk.

Staff closed the main parking lot and everyone was directed to find other means of transportation, leaving their vehicles behind.

“Vehicles are insured, people are not,” Collins said.

As of 4:15 p.m. the metal sheet was secured and operations resumed, Northern Health stated.

“Everything is back to normal. There was no impact on the hospital,” Collins said. “It was all very preemptive and out of an abundance of caution.”

The public is now allowed full access to the hospital and to return to their vehicles in the parking lot.

Norman Galimski | Journalist
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