ASH running on partial power

The electrical system at Atascadero State Hospital could take up to 10 days to repair, a hospital spokesman said Saturday. Meanwhile, extra security officers are patrolling the facility and generators are supplying low levels of electricty.The power outage started Friday morning after a ruptured pipe flooded a basement and prompted staff to shut down the water and most of the power. About 100,000 gallons poured into the underground area and spread to an electrical vault, said spokesman Jon De Morales.Water service was restored by Friday, but the electrical system was damaged. Almost the entire hospital was affected.Saturday, double the number of security officers were working and making at least two rounds per shift in each unit, De Morales said.Generators were keeping the facility functioning on low power until repairs an be made. Until then, officials plan to restore power incrementally by adding generators.The generators supply energy to lights, the kitchen, ancillary areas and the pharmacy but staff is working without computers, and other equipment, De Morales said.Patients were confined to their housing units and courtyards and have limited recreational activities.Sack meals were being served to patients in their units and staff was delivering ice to the units several times a day, De Morales said.Thirty patients who may have been susceptible to heat had been moved to air conditioned areas.Since power is short in surgical units, hospital staff planned to call ambulances to take patients to local hospitals if necessary.As of Saturday evening no patients had been taken.Routine medical procedures were still being provided, De Morales said.

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