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Patients diverted from B.C. hospital ER after cold weather causes pipes to burst

Mission Memorial Hospital in Mission, B.C., is pictured in an undated image. The hospital's ER was put on diversion Saturday night after pipes burst, resulting in a flood. (Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation - image credit)
Mission Memorial Hospital in Mission, B.C., is pictured in an undated image. The hospital's ER was put on diversion Saturday night after pipes burst, resulting in a flood. (Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation - image credit)

An emergency department in B.C.'s Fraser Valley has had to close due to a flood that happened on Saturday night caused by pipes that burst during prolonged cold weather.

Health-care authority Fraser Health said in a statement around 9 p.m. PT Saturday that patients were being diverted away from the Mission Memorial Hospital ER.

"The extreme cold weather caused pipes to burst, resulting in water damage in the unit," reads the statement. "The emergency department will remain on diversion until further notice while Fraser Health assesses the damage caused by the flood and required remediation."

As of Sunday morning at 9 a.m. PT, the authority says the ER remains closed.

Patients seeking emergency care are being re-directed to emergency rooms in Maple Ridge, Abbotsford, Langley and Chilliwack, according to a Fraser Health statement.

Fraser Health says that no other hospital departments were affected in the flood, and patients elsewhere are receiving the care they need.

Mission Memorial Hospital is located in B.C.'s Fraser Valley, around 60 km east of Vancouver. It was first opened in 1965.

The burst pipes come amid a prolonged cold snap, which is set to continue into the start of the next week. Environment Canada has maintained an Arctic outflow warning for the central and eastern Fraser Valley on Sunday, warning that wind chill could make it feel like –20 C.

Another health-care facility, Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, also saw impacts due to the bitterly cold weather Saturday. A broken heater in the ER waiting room there led to temperatures dropping temporarily to –6 C indoors.