The Hospital Was Evacuated Shortly After Sandy Hit

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Six months after superstorm Sandy crippled much of the Tri-State area, Coney Island Hospital is still struggling to keep up with demands.

Half of the hospital’s emergency department has been restored, but the other half is a construction zone.

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“We’re operating about 40 percent of capacity to total number of beds. We have about two-thirds of the inpatient units open,” Coney Island Hospital Executive Director Arthur Wagner told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Prior to Sandy, Coney Island Hospital had 60 beds in the ER. As of Monday, there are 38 beds with an additional 10 coming soon to the critical care area.

Hospital officials notes each of the 38 ER bays could accommodate two patients if needed, making the current capacity of the emergency department 76 patients.

The city-run hospital was evacuated shortly after the storm hit.

Severe basement flooding destroyed the main building’s electrical system. Six months later, giant cables bring power from other, newer buildings.

“In order to get the power back into this building, we needed to grab it from the other two buildings that didn’t have basements,” Wagner told Diamond.

The flooding destroyed all of the hospital’s diagnostic equipment.

“We lost the MRI, we lost the CAT scan and we lost the radiology equipment,” hospital senior facilities director Dan Collins said.

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Flood damage seen at Coney Island Hospital shortly after superstorm Sandy hit. (credit: Coney Island Hospital)

Flood damage seen at Coney Island Hospital shortly after superstorm Sandy hit. (credit: Coney Island Hospital)

MRIs and other tests are now done in two trailers located off the emergency room.

“The repairs that we’re putting in place now are basically temporary to get us through long-term mitigation,” Wagner told Diamond.

Sandy crippled the community hospital which is vital to south Brooklyn.

“Six months later we are on the road to recovery,” said Wagner. “It has not been easy.”

The hospital has still not restored its OB-GYN or pediatrics departments since Sandy hit.

“[We’ll] probably be having construction going on for another six to 12 months,” said Wagner.

Rebuilding is being done with an eye on the next storm, Diamond reported.

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