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Power Outage Affects USC Medical Center

A power outage Thursday affected parts of County-USC Medical Center and the adjacent USC Health Sciences Campus, authorities said.

The problem was reported about 9:45 a.m., and most of those affected had their service restored within about 10 minutes, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

“An underground vault switch located on Alcasar Street near the … medical center experienced a failure resulting in a power outage impacting multiple commercial customers in the surrounding area,” the LADWP said.

“Initial reports indicate that impacted customers include portions of the USC Medical Campus and adjacent commercial customers and facilities. Crews are working to reroute power to restore service as quickly as possible to as many customers as they can, but some buildings likely will remain without service through the afternoon,” the utility said.

Backup generators in some of the facilities have been providing electricity, according to the utility.

“Crews expect power to be fully restored to the area by this evening,” the utility said. “However, this estimate may change depending on the extent of damage and needed repairs.”

Firefighters sent to the medical complex rescued some people who were trapped in stuck elevators, and no injuries were reported, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

An alert circulated to the USC Health Sciences campus in the 1500 block of North San Pablo Street warned people to avoid elevators, and also urged laboratory personnel to check refrigerators and “ultra-low freezers.”

The USC Health Sciences campus includes Keck Medical Center of USC and Keck School of Medicine of USC, and some of those buildings were affected by the electrical problem.

“Keck Medical Center is running smoothly under backup procedures, utilizing generators until power is restored,” Meg Aldrich of Keck Medicine of USC said.

“Patient care and safety is of the utmost importance, and will not be compromised during this power outage,” Aldrich said. “The generators are capable of sustaining power to the medical center for days. The University of Southern California Department of Public Safety is currently on campus and is continuing to assess the issue.”

 

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