Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Hospitals in areas affected by Hurricane Maria are struggling to help their patients. There's a lack of electricity, water, and food. To help, hospitals all over South Carolina are taking in patients from the Caribbean.
"There's no doubt that the folks in Puerto Rico are suffering dreadfully," said emergency care physician Chris Lambardozzi. "There's little or no electricity, rapidly diminishing food or water sources... things are getting quite desperate there."
That is why the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) and Federal Coordination Center (FCC) have been activated at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, and over 12 agencies are working to take in patients from the Caribbean.
"We're hoping to take in as many patients as they need to send," Lambardozzi said.
Lambardozzi says patients will land at the division of aeronautics hanger... and go to participating hospitals around the state
"We have prepared for this, we regularly exercise in this particular hanger every single year," Lambardozzi said.
Prepared for the worst, in order to give them South Carolina's best.
"These folks have lost their homes, lost virtually everything important to them," Lambardozzi said. "So really, if we can provide care and compassion the rest will fall into place.
Four planes have come in so far, with two more expected on Monday.