Power restored at Providence Hospital

Electric power should be completely restored to the last remaining department at Providence Hospital's downtown campus by early this morning, a spokeswoman said Sunday.

On Christmas Day, the 247-bed hospital went to a standby generator after losing power in a rainstorm so severe it caused widespread flooding in the Columbia area.

A transformer near the hospital blew as 3 to 4 inches of rain fell in a morning storm.

By Christmas night, permanent power had been restored to all patient floors except the Imaging Department, which has the CT scanner in it, said hospital public relations coordinator Megan Wright.

The CT scanner, which takes three-dimensional images of the interior of the body, consumes large amounts of energy. Among its uses is the detection of strokes - life-threatening medical events in which quick detection and action can be crucial to the patient.

While the Imaging Department has been down, patients needing scans have been diverted to other area hospitals, Wright said.

The downtown campus is home to the Providence Heart & Vascular Institute, a nationally recognized referral center for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

- John Monk