Hospitals suffer setbacks from Winter Storm Elliott 

Weather that snarled up travel for many Americans over the holidays also interfered with power and water, with problems spilling over to affect hospital operations. 

Winter Storm Elliott delivered record-low temperatures to a large swath of the U.S., touching the Midwest, East Coast and parts of the South over Christmas weekend. The severe cold threatened infrastructure and led numerous states, such as Georgia and New York, to declare a state of emergency. 

Nationwide, at least 64 storm-related deaths have been reported, according to a tally kept by NBC News. In Western New York, the storm produced four feet of snow and killed more than 25 people as of Dec. 27. The deaths range from people found in snow banks and cars to those who suffered cardiac arrest while plowing snow. Rescue efforts, wellness checks and EMS responses were ongoing as of Dec. 27, with authorities deploying high-lift tractors as hospital transports, Reuters reported.

The city of Memphis, Tenn., continues to struggle with water problems caused by consecutive days of below-freezing temperatures. The city issued a boil water advisory that was in effect Dec. 27 as it worked to repair nearly 30 water main breaks that contributed to low water pressure. 

Fire departments from counties surrounding Memphis are using tanker trucks to pump water into area hospitals to keep pressure up. "The principal need there is for boilers, boilers that provide heat and steam and sterilization at our hospitals," Doug McGowen, president of Memphis Light, Gas and Water, told local CBS affiliate WREG

Despite aid from the fire departments and tanker trucks, at least one health system scaled back operations. Regional One Health in Memphis temporarily closed all outpatient clinics on Dec. 27, citing "low water pressure across the community" as the cause. The closures affected all primary care offices, as well.  

Five hundred miles outside of Memphis, Cincinnati is dealing with water problems of its own. Cincinnati Children's closed a building on its campus in Mason, Ohio, through Jan. 2 due to an unspecified water problem caused by freezing temperatures. The facility houses a number of medical specialties, including its urgent care center. 

Further south, all four hospitals within Shreveport, La.-based Willis-Knighton Health System lost water pressure, resulting in the distribution of water bottles to patients and use of "bucket brigades" for bathroom operations, local NBC affiliate KPVI reported. Operations returned to normal Dec. 27. 

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