A pipe in the Ronald McDonald House on East 55th Street and South Drexel Avenue burst on Friday morning following last week’s polar vortex, the Tribune reported on Monday. Families in the house, who have children undergoing treatment at nearby Comer Children’s Hospital, had to remove their belongings and move to a hotel half a mile away.
The Ronald McDonald House Charity is fundraising to help cover the cost of hotel rooms, meals, transportation, and other incidentals for the relocated families.
The current priority is getting the house dried out, said Holly Buckendahl, the Chicagoland Chief Operating Officer for the Ronald McDonald Houses. She added that repairs would take place in a two to three month timeframe.
The Hyde Park Herald reported that the flood created about two feet of standing water in the house’s basement and did extensive damage to all three floors of the building, which contain 22 guest rooms.
Families have relocated to the La Quinta Inn on Lake Shore Drive to wait out the repairs, and are using subsidized Uber rides to reach the hospital. The house itself is also open for item donations between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.