Bayonet Point Hospital plans to reopen Monday

- Bayonet Point Hospital in Hudson may not start accepting patients again until Monday after a power outage forced a full-scale evacuation Wednesday, a spokesperson said Thursday.

A lightning strike to the hospital's main power source on the roof is believed to be the cause. It sparked a brief fire and knocked out the main power and a backup generator.

"When you're in the dark and you don't have any power for any system, that's a worst-case scenario," said Kurt Conover, a spokesperson for Bayonet Point.

All 209 patients were transferred to other hospitals. At least 70 ambulances, three ambulance buses and a lot of emergency personnel assisted in the evacuation.

Conover said doctors, nurses and other hospital staff had to coordinate the entire process using flashlights and cell phone lights. Some patients had to be carried down three flights of stairs.

"The elevators got shut down because of no power," Conover said. "They have boards and special equipment that they use to transfer patients and I'm very happy to say, without incident, we were able to transfer our critical care patients, trauma patients to area facilities, so it was incredible what was accomplished."

Primary power has since been restored, but by law, patients cannot come back until the backup power is also available.  It may be Monday before that happens, Conover said.

Twelve of the patients evacuated were considered critical. Intensive care patients and critical patients were prioritized for evacuation. There were no reports of additional injuries to patients or crews during the incident.

Conover said, because the hospital had already initiated its emergency precautions with Hurricane Hermine moving in, an emergency generator was already on the way and arrived within an hour and a half.

Bayonet Point doctors and nurses are temporarily assisting medical personnel at other hospitals to help handle the extra patients.

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