LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It’s taking longer than expected to get a Long Island hospital shuttered by Superstorm Sandy functioning again and many residents and officials are getting impatient.

Long Beach Medical Center has been closed since the Oct. 29, 2012 storm.

The nearest medical center is about seven miles away in Oceanside and some Long Beach residents said they’ve waited long enough to get their local hospital back.

“God forbid a kid swallows something and you have to get to the hospital right away, what are you going to do? By the time you get to Oceanside, the kid’s dead,” resident Rosie Demineech told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs.

“We need a hospital, too many lives are at stake,” said resident Andy Goober. “This is a city. It’s a small city, but it’s still a city and there’s many, many thousands and yes, we need a hospital.”

While residents and officials weighed on the state Department of Health to reopen the hospital, they are also urging South Nassau Communities Hospital to improve emergency ambulance service in the area.

The 162-bed Long Beach Medical Center suffered heavy flooding damage in Superstorm Sandy and needed at least $56 million in repairs.

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