Phoebe Sumter Medical Center Opens its doors

AMERICUS, GA (WXTX)- April 1 2007 is a day people in Americus and the surrounding communities will never forget.  A powerful E-F3 tornado tore through the community, leaving homes, schools, and even the hospital completely destroyed.

Winds topped 150 miles per hour two people lost their lives and eleven people were injured. Nearly five years later the community has been rebuilt. The now Phoebe Sumter Medical Center has risen from the ashes.

"Out of that disaster and out of that sadness has come a wonderful opportunity for the people in Americus and Sumter County," Bishop said.

The 183,000 square foot hospital has 76 Private rooms, state of the art medical equipment, maternity ward, and a new triage center.

Nurse Krista Barfield has worked for the hospital for the past 10 years. She spent a lot of time at the old hospital and remembers what things were like after the storm hit.

"It was very chaotic, everybody really pulled together and we moved patients and equipment to one of the local churches here in town," Barfield said.

Barfield says the basement of that church was made into a makeshift emergency room. At one point she says they used tents and a double wide trailer until they were moved to a temporary hospital inside the city.

Barfield along with others who work at the hospital are thankful to be finally getting back on track after all of these years.

"It's like going from a small shack to a mansion, it's unreal, it's unbelievable, we get goose bumps every time we walk in the building," Barfield said.

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