Kemp issues Emergency Declaration for Fulton County over Grady Hospital water pipe burst

Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a State of Emergency in Fulton County in response to a major water pipe burst at Grady Memorial Hospital.

The hospital began total diversion of ambulance driven patients on December 7 with partial diversion still in place as of Friday as a result of the pipe burst.

"Due to increased patient load, surrounding metro-Atlanta hospitals are now experiencing capacity challenges. In order to ensure residents and visitors have access to adequate trauma centers, Governor Kemp has declared emergency assistance from the state of Georgia is necessary to provide for the public’s safety," the governor's office released in a statement.

The hospital continues to make progress in its recovering following a 24-inch diameter water pipe, which broke apart on Saturday afternoon, flooding several floors, interrupting the electrical systems, and causing damage. The pipe burst caused some patients to be evacuated and prevented staff from using hundreds of hospital beds.

Grady’s emergency room typically sees about 450 patients a day, but since Saturday they have only seen about 200 each day since they were only accepting walk-in patients.

Grady said Wednesday they hope to have 62 beds back in service within the next week, but another 158 beds could be down for months. In addition, about 30 percent of the elevators could remain out of service for the next three weeks.

A link to Gov. Kemp's executive order can be found here.