NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The emergency center at NYU Langone Medical Center has reopened for the first time since Superstorm Sandy.

The hospital, which is located in Manhattan’s Murray Hill section, was badly flooded during Sandy. The 14-foot storm surge inundated the medical center with 15 million gallons of water which eventually caused the hospital’s backup generators to fail. All patients had to be evacuated as a result.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were on hand Thursday for the reopening and both praised the staff for their response during and after the storm.

“There’s so much strength, so much professionalism, so much talent in this room,” de Blasio said. “I hope you all realize that what you did in the hours after Sandy was nothing short of a miracle.”

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the entire NYU team that literally saved lives that night,” Cuomo said.

The hospital has been reopening in stages after nearly $150 million in repairs.

The new Perelman Emergency Center is 22,000-square-feet, more than triple the size of the previous center.

“This is a moment of rebirth for NYU Langone, but it symbolizes an on-going effort to bring back this city and state stronger than ever,” de Blasio said Thursday.

“It’s the story of building back better, learning from the storm,” said Cuomo. “New Yorkers have a history of experiencing tragedy, refusing to be defeated, reengineering, and reemerging better than before.”

The center is named for Ronald Perelman who donated $50 million for its rebuilding.

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