In late August, it was a power outage.
Monday, a Stanislaus County Health Services Agency building on Scenic Drive in Modesto was closed by a severe water leak that damaged offices and clinics.
Officials said one-fourth of the former Stanislaus Medical Center building suffered water damage. The agency was working to reschedule appointments for patients and move clinical services and 90 to 100 staff members to other locations.
On Tuesday, health services staffers were redirecting people who walked up to the center.
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The Health Services Agency and other county offices won’t be able to use the facility for an undetermined amount of time, said Patty Hill Thomas, county chief operations officer. The former hospital building is used for specialty clinics and support staff, and includes some Community Services Agency offices.
“We know the building is pretty soaked and some of the areas are off-limits until all the testing is done,” Hill Thomas said. Officials hoped to know later this week whether employees can use some areas of the facility again.
While the Scenic center was more heavily used by patients in the past, Hill Thomas said, most of the Health Services Agency patient visits occur at outpatient clinics on Paradise Road or in Ceres, Turlock and other locations.
Security personnel discovered the flooding about 11 a.m. Sunday. Officials determined the flooding apparently was caused by failure of a heating circulation pump above the third floor.
The water caused damage to ceilings, walls, furnishings and flooring on the third, second, first and basement floors. Coit Restoration Services responded on behalf of the county to extract water from the building. The emergency was later turned over to Belfor USA Group, which was using machinery to suck water out of the facility.
The Board of Supervisors took emergency action Tuesday to negotiate a contract with Belfor to handle abatement, demolition and cleanup. Hill Thomas said one concern was the possible presence of asbestos in the original construction materials when the building was built in 1951, and whether the flooding spread any toxic materials.
She said the remediation and cleanup will ensure that any parts of the building that are occupied again are safe. Hill Thomas said there was no indication thus far the repairs and cleanup will cost more than $1 million.
In June 2014, a water leak caused extensive damage to the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto. And Sunday’s flooding was the second emergency in nine months at the county’s health services complex on Scenic, which includes a collection of antiquated buildings dating to the 1940s and newer facilities.
In late August, much of the Scenic center was hit by a power outage, which caused air conditioners, computers, phones and elevators to stop working. The outage burned up a transfer switch and emergency generator, requiring more than $400,000 in repair and replacement costs.
The August power outage prompted officials to look for another location for the health services administration, and later this year, the specialty and medical rehabilitation clinics will move to 20,000 square feet of leased space in the “black glass” building on McHenry Avenue.
The flooding could mean that portions of the former hospital may not be used again, though officials will know more after an assessment is done, Hill Thomas said.
According to an initial report to supervisors, it’s not clear if costs of repairing the water damage and related expenses will be fully covered by the county’s insurance, which has a $10,000 deductible.
People with questions about medical appointments or other business at the Scenic center may call the Health Services Agency at 209-558-7000.
Ken Carlson: 209-578-2321