Is Albany prepared for a blackout? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Is Albany prepared for a blackout?

August 16, 2003

Albany - The blackout in the Northeast has many South Georgian's wondering if our area is prepared for a similar situation. But workers in Albany say they are prepared in case of a black out.

David Paul is the director of Plant Operations at Phoebe Putney Memorial hospital. He says even if all power in the surrounding area is down, they will be able to run the hospital at 100%.

Paul says, "Not only could we supply our loads, but we could actually give back about 30% to water, gas and light to use it in other areas if they so had to."

All hospitals are required to have back up generators to provide power for critical areas of the hospital. At Phoebe, the generators can run up to 100 hours without being refueled. And even if one of the 8 generators fails, others will take over the load.

The mall is even prepared for an outage. If the power were to go out while people were inside, batteries would power up exit lights so customers could leave safely.

The police and fire departments also have back-up generators in case of emergencies. The generators can open garage doors, run the dispatch radio, and even pump fuel so crews can still get to emergencies.

Albany Fire Chief Arrowood says, "All of your emergency services should be totally functional, even in the absence of power."

And that's reassuring in a time, when everything around you is black.

posted at 2:18 PM by karen.collier@walb.com