Power Outage Hits Rapid City Regional Hospital
We experienced our own bit of chaos here in Rapid City Friday morning.
High wind knocked power out to parts of Blackhawk and southern Rapid City, including Rapid City Regional Hospital, which lost power for about 40 minutes.
At around 5:00 a.m. Friday, heavy winds blew out power to many residents in the Black Hills, including the Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Hospital Engineer, Gerald Austin says, "Very critical of a system in a hospital to have power reliable."
Two generators power the hospital during outages and they can do so indefinitely as long as there is a fuel supply.
"They're 2,250 kilowatts each. When commercial power from Black Hills Power disappears, these start automatically," adds Austin.
And if power does go out the generator can supply power in just 7 seconds. During the short period that there is no power critical systems in the hospital operate on batteries.
Rapid City Regional Hospital’s Dr. Nancy Nelson says, "And then anything that is life support or is essential to patient care goes on the emergency power. We also have lighting available throughout the hospital so it's never totally dark. Should we need more lighting we obviously have flashlights readily available for the staff as well."
Hospital staff is well prepared in case of an emergency or potential disaster, supplying power where we need it most.
"Doesn't supply the entire hospital, it just supplies the essentially equipment that's necessary that keeps the mission and the well being of the patients," concludes Austin.
To give you an idea of exactly how powerful the generators are hospital officials say that they are capable of powering over 2,000 homes.