After more than 17 months, patients and doctors of the Anadarko Indian Health Center returned to their offices Friday.
The original center flooded in early 2011 after a sewer line beneath the building collapsed. New facility unit director Terry Hunter said the plight was only supposed to last a couple of weeks. But it took much longer than that.
"They originally thought it would take just a few weeks," he said. "Then they said it would take a few months. And then, when they brought in the trailers, they knew they were in for a long haul."
The damage was extensive. A second break farther up the sewer line only exacerbated the issue. By the time crews were able to get the water turned off and facility managers were able to assess the damage, the entire building had been flooded with several feet of water, ruining almost everything within the brick walls. Hunter said crews ultimately located the collapse, nearly 60 feet inside the building.
Determined to remain at their present location on Oldtown Drive, crews immediately went to work. While doctors, dentists, nurses and other specialists continued to see patients in a multitude of trailers set up in the parking lot, construction crews worked inside the building to not only remodel but also completely rebuild the original offices.
"It was so bad in there that when they started doing the remodeling process, they went in and tore everything out of the building," Hunter said. "Everything inside was gutted. The only thing that's not new here is the outside walls."