Marc Bashoor, PGFD Twitter Photo.
CHEVERLY, Md. (WUSA9) -- Pepco officials say that the source of an outage at Prince George's Hospital in Cheverly was internal to the hospital center. Thursday night, two nearby neighborhoods of Cheverly and Chapel Oaks were also without power. There power has been restored, according to Pepco's website.
According to Pepco officials, it appears a number of Pepco breakers were tripped intentionally or tripped automatically to cut power to the fire area, which is normal in an emergency like the one on Thursday night. That action caused a brief outage in the Cheverly area, say officials. So, the outage in Cheverly was a result of and not the cause of what happened at the hospital, according to Pepco.
Friday morning, Prince George's Hospital was running on generators after a fire at the power plant on Thursday until 9 a.m. Officials say the helicopter and ambulances won't be running until the air conditions is back on around noon Friday. Friday afternoon, were were told that medical service interruption was extended to mid-day because the HVAC system had not cooled the building enough to run some critical equipment like CT scanners.
All surgeries or complex procedures were rescheduled until a later time.
We spoke to a father who was very distraught on Friday morning. He brought his 15-month-old daughter into the emergency room. She had a lump on her neck. Hospital staff turned him away because they didn't have the power to scan her. They couldn't use any CAT scans so they couldn't detect what was wrong. Staff members said it would be hours before they could transfer her, but of course, this was an emergency situation for this young family so they chose to drive the girl themselves to Children's Hospital.
The patients inside are still being cared for, but those complex operations and procedures and elective surgeries were rescheduled.
Some ambulances were parked outside at the emergency room on Friday morning. They were not transporting patients because all ambulances and helicopters were heading to other hospitals. Prince George's Hospital Center is one of two trauma centers in the area.
The reason is that flames broke out around 7:30 p.m. in the power plant directly behind the emergency room. Three transformers were on fire, and they knocked out power to the entire hospital. The generator quickly kicked in though. The generators have fuel for about 24 hours and will be refueled as necessary again.
The fire chief tells us the hospital calls this a "mini disaster" and that staff members followed their emergency plan.
The Hospital is back in full operation now. It is still running on a back up generator and an additional generator.