| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Dec 27 The NYU Langone Medical Center
in New York City partially reopened its inpatient facilities on
Thursday, nearly two months after it was flooded by Superstorm
Sandy and sustained damages that could exceed $1 billion.
Storm damage in New Jersey, New York City's outer boroughs
and New York state's Long Island captured most of the world's
attention after the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history
made landfall on Oct. 29, obscuring much of the damage sustained
The emergency department at the Manhattan hospital could
remain closed until the end of 2013.
At the height of the storm, the hospital was forced to
evacuate its 322 patients, including 20 babies in intensive
care, when it lost power and its rooftop back-up generators shut
down because flooding knocked out fuel tanks in the basement.
Other major hospitals in Manhattan were also badly damaged.
Bellevue Hospital Center, one of the country's oldest
hospitals and the city's main trauma treatment center, said this
week that it was receiving ambulances for the first time since
Sandy struck, and that full services were not expected until
Recovery was still under way in other parts of Manhattan.
About 10 percent of office space in downtown Manhattan, which
includes the Financial District around Wall Street, was still
closed as of late last week, according to a report by the real
estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle.
DAMAGE ESTIMATE OVER $1 BLN
As of Thursday, NYU Langone said it could once again perform
surgery on patients that would involve overnight stays, and that
its intensive care and neurology units were open. More than 50
inpatients were being seen on Thursday, a spokeswoman said.
Other services, such as its labor wards and pediatric and
cancer departments, would reopen on Jan. 14.
The hospital's emergency department on the ground floor was
under construction as part of an expansion program when the
storm hit, and the damage was still being repaired, the
hospital's statement said. In the meantime, the hospital has set
up a temporary urgent care center that will receive walk-in
patients and redirect more serious cases to other places in the
The hospital resumed some outpatient services within a week
of the storm.
The total cost of repairing damaged infrastructure and
replacing state-of-the-art medical equipment was likely to
exceed $1 billion, a spokeswoman said. The Federal Emergency
Management Agency, or FEMA, had already allocated $114 million,
she said, and the hospital was waiting to see how much would be
covered by insurance.
Images of critically ill patients being evacuated in the
stormy darkness at NYU Langone and, the following day, the
evacuation of some 725 patients from the nearby Bellevue,
prompted concerns from some emergency experts that hospitals in
New York and elsewhere are not prepared for times when the
hospital itself is affected by a disaster.
Bellevue, though still closed to inpatients, has been
operating outpatient clinics, walk-in emergency care and
pharmacy services since Nov. 19.