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Format: 04/22/2014
Format: 04/22/2014

News

Pittsburgh Business Times: Snow storm creating many challenges for Pittsburgh-area businesses

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The storm that dumped more than two feet of snow on southwestern Pennsylvania Friday night and Saturday morning is continuing to create challenges for area businesses.

Transportation proved to be difficult even into Monday morning as the area began to dig out from the storm, dubbed 'snowmageddon.' The National Guard was called in to help, and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl encouraged businesses to carefully consider whether to open on Monday.

Here's a look at some of the struggles local companies faced as they attempted to get to work - or get work done from home - on Monday:

Hospitals recover from power outages, reschedule elective surgeries
Elective surgery is scheduled to resume Tuesday at Canonsburg Hospital after a weekend power outage crimped operations, while things were back to normal at Jefferson Hospital, which also lost power during the weekend snow storm.

Canonsburg, a 120-bed Washington County hospital, lost power on Saturday for a little more than a day, forcing ambulances to divert patients to other facilities, according to hospital spokeswoman Acacia Svonavec. Elective surgery is scheduled to resume on Tuesday.

“The roads are still bad and people are still are without power in Canonsburg,” Svonavec said.

Meanwhile, operations are back to normal at Jefferson Regional, which was forced to revert to emergency generators after the main and an alternate source of electricity for the 373-bed hospital both went down, according to spokeswoman Charlene Frederick. The power went out around 9 p.m. Friday and was back up by 11:25 a.m. Saturday.

The malfunction of the power sources was a first for the 33-year-old hospital, Frederick said.

Meanwhile, at Allegheny General Hospital, the emergency room staff struggled to keep up with around 10 patients who were admitted because their oxygen equipment stopped working with power outages at home, according to Dr. Fred Harchelroad, chairman of the department of emergency medicine.

People with breathing problems often use supplemental oxygen at home from an electrically powered device called an oxygen concentrator. Hospital admissions for this problem were the single biggest reason during the storm, Harchelroad said.

“As their houses got colder, so did they,” he said.
 

To read more, visit the Pittsburgh Business Times website.

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