Public Health

Superstorm Sandy Takes Toll On New York Hospitals

Ambulances line up outside New York University Langone Medical Center to evacuate patients after backup generators failed when Sandy knocked out power in Lower Manhattan Monday. i i

Ambulances line up outside New York University Langone Medical Center to evacuate patients after backup generators failed when Sandy knocked out power in Lower Manhattan Monday. John Minchillo/AP hide caption

itoggle caption John Minchillo/AP
Ambulances line up outside New York University Langone Medical Center to evacuate patients after backup generators failed when Sandy knocked out power in Lower Manhattan Monday.

Ambulances line up outside New York University Langone Medical Center to evacuate patients after backup generators failed when Sandy knocked out power in Lower Manhattan Monday.

John Minchillo/AP

When a storm hits, people count on the local hospital to be ready — no matter what.

But when Sandy slammed into New York City, one of Manhattan's biggest hospitals buckled. After the power went out in Lower Manhattan, New York University Langone Medical Center's backup power generators failed, too.

That led to the evacuation of more than 200 patients to other hospitals, including Mount Sinai Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Patients were still being moved Tuesday morning, the Huffington Post reported.

"I don't know why we waited so long to evacuate," an unidentified NYU nurse told the Huffington Post. "Everything was okay in terms of people working together, and us having enough staff to complete the transfer. But it seems like we waited too long, especially with all the news we had about the storm."

At a media briefing Tuesday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the evacuation of patients from NYU was "virtually complete." Two other hospitals — NYU-Downtown and the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Hospital — had been closed, he said. Coney Island Hospital had also been evacuated. Bellevue Hospital was still open, operating on backup power, he said.

"We've had significant challenges at many of our hospitals and health care facilities," he said. "Fortunately, as of now there has been no storm related fatalities at any them."

Here's a Storify roundup of some of the coverage.

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