East Houston Hospital Closes From Storm Damage

The hospital says closing the site is simply the safest option for their patients

The 131-bed East Houston Regional Medical Center took on six feet of water during Hurricane Harvey — damaging more than the hospital can afford to repair.

The hospital said closing the site is simply the safest option for their patients.

“That particular hospital has been vulnerable to flooding on multiple occasions,” said Darrell Pile of the South East Texas Regional Advisory Council. The group helped evacuate the hospital during Harvey. “It is always sad when a hospital closes, in this particular case it seems to be a wise decision since the cost of closing and reopening can become exorbitant and unwise,” he said.

Pile said other medical centers in east Houston have seen an increase in patients — he believes they’re able to pick up the slack.

In a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission, the hospital said 497 people would be laid off. A hospital spokesperson told the Houston Chronicle that many of those employees will actually be reassigned at different facilities.