New York Public Hospital Damaged by Sandy Gets $117M Aid

By RACHELLE BLIDNER | August 18, 2014

The city’s public hospital system will receive more than $117 million in federal aid for repairs to Bellevue Hospital Center for damage related to Superstorm Sandy, the state’s two U.S. senators said Thursday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s public assistance program will reimburse the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation for repairs made after the 2012 storm, Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said in a press release. The aid also will fund rebuilding plans that are still in the works, they said.

“Bellevue Hospital, which suffered enormous damage, provided critical emergency help during and after the storm to aid New Yorkers,” Gillibrand said. “With this funding, Bellevue Hospital will be reimbursed for important emergency repairs to help fully restore the hospital to its pre-disaster condition.”

Superstorm Sandy, which was spawned in October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy merged with two other weather systems, killed people in 10 states, but New Jersey and New York were hit the hardest.

The storm forced Bellevue to transfer about 700 patients after almost all its backup generators failed. Seventeen million gallons of water flooded its basement, where most of its electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems were located. The hospital was closed for weeks after the storm and didn’t resume full operations until three months later.

The aid will fund the replacement of an emergency generator. The hospital will be reimbursed for repairs to electrical and security systems and construction on the morgue and medical supply storage departments.

In July, Schumer announced a $1.3 billion FEMA award for Sandy-related damage to New York University’s Langone Medical Center, which also was hit hard by the storm.

The Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs 11 public hospitals, has already received $69 million in FEMA aid for reimbursement for repairs related to Sandy. The total cost for repairs for HHC hospitals is about $420 million among Bellevue, Coney Island Hospital, Metropolitan Hospital and Coler Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility.

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