Hospital goes dark during power outage; no word on cause

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RIPLEY, Tenn. — It was lights out at the Lauderdale Community Hospital after the electricity went out for a few hours Monday.

In some spots the hospital was left relying on the natural light from the outside for hours. The power outage caused rumors to swirl about the financial situation at the hospital, where employees recently said they haven't been paid in weeks.

Hospital CEO Michael Layfield said during the outage, the hospital used backup generators and patients were okay. He would not say what caused the outage.

The local utility company's doors were locked and no one answered the phone.

At the county mayor's office, WREG was told the mayor was aware of issue but that he wasn't available to talk to us.

Bobby Mullins said he was concerned about his local hospital's situation, because he might need their services.

"Two or three times, I've been to that emergency room," Mullins said.

Mullins said he wondered whether the outage be connected to ongoing financial trouble.

Earlier this month WREG told you about hospital employees waiting weeks to be paid. It seems the hospital was having some big money problems to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes owed to the city and county.

"I feel bad for those people who are not getting pay checks," Mullins said. "They work hard for it, I don't understand what the problem is."

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