National Guard helps drain Ian's floodwaters from Florida hospital parking lot

Members of the National Guard were using water to fight water as they battled floodwaters in the parking lot of HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital, in Sanford. 

They pumped the water into big balloons called "Tiger Dams." They used them instead of sandbags to block off the parking lot and pump the rest of the water out of the parking lot.

"The purpose of what we're trying to do is to reclaim some of the front of the hospital area, parking space, so we can actually have front access, and better access to the front of the hospital for anyone who needs to attend," said Aaron Funk, with Seminole County Emergency Management.


Emergency managers say the flooding started after Hurricane Ian left, and the water began flowing back along the St. Johns River. While workers pumped water from the parking lot, hospital officials say the hospital is still fully-operational and welcoming patients. All patients had been coming through the rear emergency room entrance.

Emergency managers say they expect the St. Johns River to crest later this evening, and these waters to recede after that. "There's no operational impact to the hospital in terms of folks showing up, receiving care." Funk said. "We're really trying to just reclaim some of the front parking real estate of the hospital, so it opens that area up for anyone who does need to show up to the hospital who's not trying to go into the emergency room."