Hospital restores services after GR steam plant blast

A window was blown out after an explosion at the Veolia Energy plant in downtown Grand Rapids Monday, Dec. 25, 2017.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mercy Health Saint Mary’s says all departments on its Grand Rapids campus are now running at full capacity, about 36 hours after a boiler blast at a downtown Grand Rapids steam plant.

The Veolia Energy plant on Monroe Avenue produces steam which heats and cools around 130 buildings in downtown Grand Rapids, including the Grand Rapids Public Museum and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s downtown campus. The Christmas night blast led to limited heat for some of those businesses.

For a time, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s staff had to move some patients into warmer rooms and provide extra blankets and heaters.The hospital also temporarily diverted emergency ambulances from its downtown campus to other hospitals because of the heating issue.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s said Wednesday that it was able to fully reopen its emergency department at 11:30 a.m., and all hospital departments are now running at full capacity.

However, the hospital limited the number of scheduled surgeries for Wednesday, with plans to return to a full surgical schedule Thursday.

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The Grand Rapids Public Museum planned to reopen at noon on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Mercy Health Saint Mary’s says officials at the Veolia Energy plant assure the hospital that they’re now running at full capacity with no anticipated issues.