LIBERAL, KS - Monday afternoon turned out to be more than expected when 60-plus mile per hour, straight-line winds spoke loud and clear at Southwest Medical Center.
"The straight-line winds got into our air plenum and there was no where for the wind to go, so as a result, it blew out a section of our wall on the north side of the tower," explained SWMC Plant Operations Director Tracy Robinson, adding that, “The plenum is a space that can facilitate air circulation for heating and air conditioning systems, by providing pathways for either heated/conditioned or return airflows.”
The wall that came off fortunately landed on the roof of the building. There was, however, some insulation that was caught by the wind and blown around the hospital campus. SWMC groundskeepers were cleaning up that debris today.
Plant operations personnel at the hospital also worked yesterday with steps to stop the damage until a large enough crane could arrive. That crane, owned by Higby Crane Service, arrived at the hospital this morning (Tuesday) and workers immediately began work on the damaged wall.
“They are helping our plant operations team to seal up the damaged area in order to protect it from any rain or other adverse weather,” Robinson said, adding that, “This needed to be done until we get an insurance adjuster here to assess the damage.”
According to Robinson, the damaged area does not involve patient rooms.
“The damage is in the area of our stairway,” he said.
Estimates on the damage are not yet available.