A flood displacing hundreds of residents is an example of a bedlam.
Origin of bedlam
- Middle English Bedlem Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem , an institution in London for the mentally ill
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Bedlam, alternative name of the English lunatic asylum, Bethlem Royal Hospital (royal hospital from 1375, mental hospital from 1403) (earlier St Mary of Bethlehem outside Bishopsgate, hospice in existence from 1329, priory established 1247), sense used to mean “a place or situation of madness and chaos”. Bedlam as name of hospital attested 1450.