Harnett County Health Department

Located in the Government Complex in Lillington, NC approximately 30 miles from Raleigh, the Health Department houses Adult and Child Health; Women’s Health; Home Health; Environmental Health; Department on Aging; and Women Infants & Children (WIC) program.

The first floor of the Health Department measures 21,000 square feet and is made up of exam rooms, laboratories, offices, waiting areas and file rooms with over 85,000 active files.  Services are provided to hundreds of Harnett County residents weekly.

The Call

PHC Restoration received the afterhours call on Saturday afternoon, April 28, 2012.  The RPZ backflow preventer malfunctioned due to large amounts of dirt and mud buildup that was caused by nearby road construction.  As a result, 20,000 gallons of water flooded over 16,000 square feet of the Harnett County Health Department.

The Scene

By the time PHC arrived on property, the water line had been shut off, but water was ankle deep throughout 80% of the first floor.  Water extraction began immediately.  A total of 65 rooms had been affected.  Teams worked well into Sunday morning extracting water and setting up drying equipment.  In total, 26 dehumidifiers, 133 air movers and 4 HEPA machines were placed onsite.  

The Plan

It was clear from the initial moisture readings, the size of the affected areas, and the damaged building material that the restoration process would take a few months to complete.  Officials from the Health Department, PHC and Harnett County Emergency Management collaborated on where to set up a temporary location.  The health department was relocated within the Government Complex with the common areas partitioned and converted into exam rooms and the break room transformed into the file room.

Pack out

On Monday morning, PHC met with Health Department employees and outlined the pack out plan.  Each division of the Health Department was assigned at least one member of our contents team to work with.  Employees packed their personal belongings and then all remaining items were divided into two categories, those needed immediately and those going to storage.  Digital Photo Inventory was used to keep track of box contents.

File Storage

Members of our Contents Division worked side by side with county employees and boxed up over 85,000 active files.  Once the shelves were emptied, they were moved over to the temporary location and then the files were loaded back on the shelves.  This process took over two days to complete due to the number of files and the moving and reconstructing of the shelving units.

Restoration

The wall system proved to be the biggest obstacle in the restoration process.  The original wall system was constructed of base and top tracks with wall panels and no actual frame.  There was no way to extract the water in the bottom track without cutting the wall panels which would cause the walls to collapse.  The manufacturer of the wall system was no longer in business, so a new removable wall system was built.  PHC met our 90-day completion target by moving contents and personnel back into place during the first week of August, exceeding expectations of County officials.

Cost Savings

Cabinets made of particleboard, MDF and laminate were plentiful throughout the affected area and their bases suffered irreversible damage.  To salvage the cabinets, PHC carpenters custom built base frames on site out of plywood which resulted in a huge cost savings for the client.

Our ability to quickly and effectively extract the water resulted in another cost savings.  Floor coverings were tested by Industrial Hygienists and found to be safe, so no floor coverings had to be replaced.

The overall cost savings for the insurance company following this loss was over $250,000.  More importantly, patients were able to be seen and services were able to be offered within a few days of the water loss occurring.

 

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