Harveys Lake Nursing Home Residents Can’t Go Home Yet

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HARVEYS LAKE -- Residents of a personal care home that was evacuated in Luzerne County have been taken to several other facilities in other counties.

It's the latest care center since the beginning of the year to have problems bad enough to force out residents.

Officials said 27 residents were forced to leave Lakeside Nursing Home and Rehab Center at Harveys Lake Sunday night because of a problem with the sprinkler system.

Those residents were taken to other nursing homes throughout our area and will still be there for another few days.

Residents are out but cleanup crews are in at the Lakeside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Harveys Lake.

Crews are cleaning up the wet mess made over the weekend when a main on the sprinkler system blew and caused water to flood the building.

Regional director David Long says the nursing supervisor discovered the problem in the boiler room.

"She opened the door. It just flushed out. We had about two inches of water flood through the building," said Long.

That forced administrators to relocate 27 residents from the nursing home.

They were taken to Lakeside's sister facilities in Lackawanna County, Columbia County, and the Lehigh Valley.

"It's easier for us for continuity and care of the residents because we have electronic health records, so we're able to share the information more readily. The care is consistent, and we'll be able to transfer them back when we're ready," said Long.

Eight of the residents who were forced out were sent to Lakeside's sister facility, Creekside, in Carbondale.

Administrators say the evacuated residents are doing just fine.

"They're comfortable right now, and they understand that it's only for a short term, a couple days and they'll be back in their own building, and that was their concern. They wanted to go back home," said Creekside administrator Theresa Slachta.

This is one of several nursing homes that have been evacuated in Luzerne County recently.

Long thinks it's probably just a coincidence.

"Some of it's coincidence. I think sometimes it has to do with the age of the building. If the buildings are getting up in age, things start to fail."

Long said that the nursing homes are inspected annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Life Safety.

He says they will inspect Lakeside Nursing Home at Harveys Lake before residents are allowed to return.

Officials hope to move them back in by the end of the week.