Extreme cold also forced the closure of the main doors at CMH this week. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Extreme cold also forced the closure of the main doors at CMH this week. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Extreme cold bursts water pipe, closes emergency and main entrance to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

Hospital remains fully operational

The extreme cold temperatures this week have proven too much for Williams Lake’s old Cariboo Memorial Hospital, which is slated for a much-needed, $217 million redevelopment starting next year.

A frozen water pipe burst overnight, wreaking havoc for staff and closing the emergency patient entrance at the hospital.

The main entrance to the hospital was already closed since earlier this week, also due to the -30C and colder temperatures, but staff have managed to keep all services open. An extreme cold warning issued by Environment Canada Sunday was lifted for the area Thursday morning.

Read More:Cariboo Memorial Hospital redevelopment project moves to next stage

“All appointments are proceeding as normal and the hospital is operating fully today,” stated an Interior Health spokesperson in a news release on the matter.

“Entry into the hospital will be through alternate entrance, please follow signage posted on site. Both the emergency and main entrances are closed for repairs due to (these) separate events.”

Read More: Tuesday night’s extreme cold ‘bottomed out the mercury’ at -50C or more in remote Chilcotin

Hospital visitors are asked to avoid marked areas in the parking lot which are blocked off due to ice buildup and be cautious in other areas where sanding has been placed to allow pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

“Our thanks to the many staff who worked tirelessly overnight to maintain services and keep the hospital running normally today.”

CMH Redevelopment will be completed in two phases. Phase one will begin in 2021, with work on the new addition expected to finish in 2023. Phase two renovations to the current hospital are expected to be complete in 2025.


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A frozen water pipe has closed off the emergency entrance to Cariboo Memorial Hospital Thursday morning. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

A frozen water pipe has closed off the emergency entrance to Cariboo Memorial Hospital Thursday morning. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)