New York City’s famous Bellevue Hospital is one of the city’s oldest and most famous hospitals. Serving everyone from celebrities like a beaten Gavin DeGraw to random jumpers saved by garbage, it houses hundreds of patients at a time and has served New York since 1736 in some form or another. Well, no more. Hospital officials have closed Bellevue, citing too much damage from Hurricane Sandy to continue with normal operations.
“The emergency generators were just not enough to keep this hospital operating for the long term,”said Alan Aviles, president of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. ”It was obviously not anticipated that we would get a storm surge of this magnitude. … We’ve never seen anything like this at Bellevue Hospital.”
A staggering 17 million gallons of water rushed into the 1 million square foot basement of Bellevue. The water pumps and fuel pumps for generators were damaged during the storm surge, leaving the hospital struggling to function. Hospital officials decided it would be better to close than to keep limping along, so 725 patients are being moved out of the hospital starting yesterday. They hope to have all the patients out by Thursday. NYU’s Langone Medical Center has also closed.
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