COLUMBUS, Ind. --
Columbus Regional Hospital filed suit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency, claiming FEMA bungled providing financial assistance in response to the catastrophic flood that struck central and southern Indiana in 2008.
Eleven feet of floodwater poured into the basement of the hospital that year, with 6 inches of water in the first floor.
The hospital claims FEMA failed to comply with Congressional mandates on severe flooding. According to court documents, the hospital suffered $167 million in damage.
"The lawsuit is against FEMA on policy around accounting calculations, and that's the next step we need to take to follow that through," said Denise Glesing, hospital spokeswoman.
The hospital has moved forward despite issues officials said remain unresolved. A new clinical laboratory is open and performs 1.5 million tests a year, hospital officials said. The kitchen has been rebuilt and is running.
Reconstruction work is ongoing, and the hospital hopes it will be completed by summer 2011.
"We were able to have cash reserves that we had set aside for a building project," Glesing said. "That has been put on hold … to rebuild from the flood."
The lawsuit claims that FEMA hired unqualified employees who told them the hospital was required to find replacement equipment on eBay that failed to meet medical standards.
The hospital has constructed a temporary flood wall, approved by FEMA, to fend off future floods. A permanent flood wall is in the works.
6News called FEMA for reaction to the lawsuit but hadn't received a response as of Thursday evening.
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