Jackson County

Some of Singing River Hospital exposed to the elements as hurricanes loom

A row of patient rooms on the front of Singing River Hospital was open to the elements this week as contractors work to complete an exterior renovation during hurricane season. A hospital spokeswoman said, don’t worry, they have a plan, if Hurricane Irma gets much closer.
A row of patient rooms on the front of Singing River Hospital was open to the elements this week as contractors work to complete an exterior renovation during hurricane season. A hospital spokeswoman said, don’t worry, they have a plan, if Hurricane Irma gets much closer. klnelson@sunherald.com

With Hurricane Irma on the prowl, it’s a tough time to have a section of your building wide open to the elements.

Contractors on the Singing River Hospital’s $15 million project to replace the exterior with a stronger, more resilient material had rooms on several floors open this week, as they worked to complete the switch.

A hospital spokeswoman said, there’s no need to worry, however.

“We have protocol. If the hurricane gets closer, we shut the whole thing down,” said Singing River’s Georgia Storey.

All the wet weather in Jackson County this year caused rain delays on the project and has pushed it well into hurricane season before it will be finished.

The project is a complete replacement of the shell of the hospital — roof, windows and doors.

The new exterior, which is mostly paid for by FEMA, will make the hospital more hurricane resistant when they finish getting it up.

It will fortify windows to withstand 180 mph winds, weatherproof entrances, meet hurricane requirements in building codes and help keep the hospital open during bad weather conditions.

It’s called a hazard mitigation grant and is an upgrade the hospital has needed for several years, officials say.

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