PG&E says power restored to all customers near Memorial Hospital

A large swath of Santa Rosa around Memorial Hospital and Montgomery Village lost power Friday morning for the fourth time in 24 hours, testing residents' patience and interfering with business at surrounding medical offices and shops.

About 1,000 customers lost power in Friday's 7:30 a.m. outage, PG&E spokeswoman Brittany McKannay said.

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital was among them and switched automatically to back-up generator power when the lights went out, hospital spokeswoman Katy Hillenmeyer said.

The hospital, which includes the region's trauma center, went into diversion mode, but no trauma cases occurred before the power was back on at 10:15 a.m., Hillenmeyer said.

At least three trauma cases were transported by helicopter to out-of-county hospitals overnight as a precaution, since the hospital was operating on emergency generator, she said.

Traffic lights along busy Farmers Lane and elsewhere also were affected during the Friday morning commute, even as light rain snarled traffic, authorities said.

For Paul Moore, who works remotely from his California Avenue home as a software development support engineer for GE Healthcare, the successive outages proved a frustrating exercise in juggling to work around battery supply.

Several items from the family freezer also had to be tossed, he said.

Moore said a recorded call he received from PG&E on Friday apologizing profusely for the inconvenience did not make up for the interruption in power and the company's otherwise poor communication on the problem.

"The communication from PG&E regarding the circumstances was non-existent, as their web page does identify you have an outage but it gives no relevant information as to what is going on and when it will come back," he said.

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