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Hearne Clinic Cleans up Flood's Destruction

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

One year ago, Hearne residents suffered through one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the Brazos Valley.

And while last years flood left home owners struggling to save their property, Hearne's only medical clinic was struggling just to stay afloat.

The morning of May 13th 2004 started off with a little bad weather.

There were no patients at the St. Joseph Family Clinic because it was too early.

Physican's Assistant Steven Stallings and several other employees were getting ready for the day when mother nature changed their plans.

"As it got worse and worse and worse the water started lapping against the side of the building. Shortly after that we started getting back flow in our drainage pipes. Then the water started coming through the door," said Stallings.

Stallings tried to save what he could and then evacuated the building.

When he returned, the clinic was completely destroyed by flood waters.

"Everything had to be gutted," says Rita Christy.

Christy was the director of the St. Joseph Clinic in Franklin at the time. She rushed to Hearne to help -- not sure of what could be done.

"I didn't know what I could do except tell the employees it's going to be okay...we are going to rebuild," says Christy.

In a week, a temporary clinic was set up in a church building and doctors were seeing patients once again, but the recovery effort was far from over.

"We got more than just a new coat of paint. We got a new lab, new paint, new flooring...trying to get it back to the way it was," said Christy.

One year later, nothing is back to the way it was...it's better.

Stallings says it's all due to a flood of support from the community.

"Everyone pitched in, it was a good time and bad time," said Stallings.

And while sunny skies are a stark difference to the black cloud that hung over Hearne a year ago, the little Clinic that could says it will always remember how the flood brought them closer to the patients they cared for.


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