UPDATE 3:45 PM – Arnot Health confirmed that the Emergency Department was off of diversion and power was restored to the elevators. Other areas of the hospital were still being attended to.
By 5:30 p.m., Arnot said the entire system was back online and the exhaust fans that failed because of the power outage (causing the smoke and odor) have been taken out of service.
Visitations, elective procedures, and most outpatient services will be back to normal on Friday, Feb. 17.
“We very much appreciate the concern and support expressed by our staff and our community for this member of the Arnot family,” said Jonathan Lawrence, Arnot Health President and CEO. “We are truly grateful that no one was more seriously injured, and I am exceptionally proud of the way all of our people responded to take care of our patients and each other.”
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Arnot Health confirmed that the Arnot Ogden Medical Center was experiencing a power outage Thursday morning from an arc flash that left an employee injured.
At 11:30 a.m., Arnot Health said that the hospital first “detected a power anomaly” around 8:00 a.m. While crews were investigating, an “arc flash” injured an employee, causing more power disruptions. Arnot didn’t immediately describe the severity of the injury or the status of the employee.
OSHA describes an arc flash as when an electrical current leaves its intended path and goes through the air to another conductor or to the ground. According to the agency, injuries from arc flashes can be serious.
18 News first received calls from viewers around 9:30 a.m. on February 16, saying the elevators had stopped working. Over the next two hours, fire trucks were seen outside the hospital, and people had seemingly evacuated the building.
The flash also caused smoke and odor in the Emergency Department and floors below, prompting hospital staff to relocate patients in that area, the hospital said.
As of 11:30 a.m., Arnot Ogden was on full generator power and the Emergency Department is on diversion until full power is restored. Elevators are currently limited and are being reserved for clinical use. Elective procedures and outpatient appointments at Ivy I and II office buildings have been cancelled, as well.
Arnot is asking family and friends not to visit until power is restored.
Arnot Ogden President and CEO Jonathan Lawrence issued the following statement in response to the outage:
We are grateful that nobody was more seriously injured, and we regret the resulting inconvenience to our patients and their families. We will be undertaking a comprehensive investigation to identify and remediate the root cause of the issue. The Elmira Fire Department responded immediately and we are exceptionally grateful for their professional and capable support.Jonathan Lawrence, Arnot President and CEO
Check back for updates as more information becomes available.