MILLSTONE, W.Va. — An EMS station in Calhoun County is still drying out a week after a flash flood caused widespread damage.
The facility is run by the Minnie Hamilton Health System for Calhoun County in the Millstone community. Water rushed into the facility rapidly last Thursday and with little warning, according to CEO Steven Whited.
“It was 12:30 or 1:00 in the morning when I first got the call,” he explained. “At the time we were called, our staff was already in ankle and knee-deep water in some parts of our station.”
Kept in the station were two of the county’s five ambulances. Although the vehicles themselves are in working order, a considerable amount of equipment was lost.
“Batteries and inverters in some of the ambulances set lower in those compartments,” said Whited. “Some equipment inside the station like EKG machines or defibrillators, some of the batteries were destroyed along with some of our radios and communications gear.”
Damage assessment and cleanup continues, but already the price tag has exceeed $70,000 and continues to climb.
During the meantime, paramedics are running calls out of an adjoining building which was not impacted by the high water. The service is in the process of transitioning back to a county-run service. Whited indicated this might accelerate the transition.
“We’re really not sure what happened, it was just a cloudburst and the water came out of these hollows and got up so quick we couldn’t respond,” he said. “We’re still assessing trying to determine what can be done and what needs to be done.”