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Fargo's Sanford Health floods after water main breaks

Workers head into the basement at Sanford Medical Center's Broadway Clinic in downtown Fargo to clean up a mess after there was a break in the city water service pipe for the clinic on Friday.

FARGO -- A water main break Friday morning left a big mess at Sanford's Broadway Clinic in downtown Fargo.

The Fargo Fire Department responded to the break a little after 6 a.m. The water was shut off shortly after, but not before it flooded the tunnel between the clinic's two buildings and its lower level offices.

Several tons of debris and sand washed into the buildings, said Assistant Fire Chief Leroy Skarloken.

Patrick Lamb, third-year medical student at the clinic, found the mess when changing into his scrubs.

"After walking out of the locker room I saw a wall of water," he said. "It wasn't very tall, but it was flooding down the hallway. I ran to environmental services to tell them about the problem."

He lost his school work, clothes and his computer, which were in the base of his locker in the locker room.

The wash mostly affected sleeping rooms for on-call physicians and conference rooms. The damage didn't reach any patient care areas, according to a statement from the clinic's facilities director. Water was restored to the building by 8 a.m.

Parts of the sidewalk in front of the clinics were blocked off, but the clinic's upper floors were open. Business wasn't affected by the break and water damage, according to Sanford's statement.

Cleanup of the basement and repairs to the water line began immediately after the incident. A Sanford official said he did not know when the work would be completed. The official also did not have a damage estimate.