Rains in Texas and Louisiana last week closed Dallas' second-busiest trauma center and caused almost $3.2 million in damage to New Orleans hospitals.
Several hospitals in the New Orleans area were flooded after a storm dumped 18 inches of rain in six hours, leaving five people dead.
New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial estimated flood damage at $100 million, saying it was one of the worst floods there in 30 years.
Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans, formerly known as Charity Hospital, sustained the most damage to hospitals, according to the mayor's report. Damage to the state-owned institution was estimated at $2.5 million.
Because much of New Orleans is below sea level, flooding after heavy rains isn't unusual, although last week's deluge was exceptional, officials said.
"We're well prepared," said Ann Schumacher, a spokeswoman at Mercy-Baptist Medical Center, which used flat-bottomed boats it keeps in the basement to transport patients when water surrounded the hospital last week. She said flooding cuts off the hospital about once every two years, necessitating the use of the boats.
However, the hospital was never shut down. Mercy-Baptist sustained about $250,000 in damage, according to city estimates.
Meanwhile, in Dallas the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center was closed most of last week after a May 5 storm that claimed 18 lives in the metropolitan area. The basement of Baylor was flooded, affecting the hospital's emergency department, cafeteria and pharmacy.