At approximately 12:45 pm today (March 3), a tornado touched down in an area behind Louis Smith Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital located on Thigpen Avenue in Lakeland, GA, causing light damage to the hospital and its neighboring 60-bed nursing home, Lakeland Villa Convalescent Center.“Luckily, everyone is safe,” reports LSMH Administrator Neil Ginty.
“We put our emergency operations plan into effect and moved patients and staff to areas of safety. It appears the bulk of the damage occurred behind the hospital. Upon inspection, outbuildings including the Emergency Medical Services trailer, the materials management building, some awnings and other structures were damaged or destroyed.
“We are operating on generator power, but Georgia Power tells us that power will be restored this evening. At this time, we do not anticipate evacuating any patients or residents of the nursing home,” Ginty says. South Georgia Medical Center owns and operates Louis Smith Hospital. Upon notification of the tornado, SGMC immediately sent EMS crews and maintenance and security staff to assist.