By STEPHANIE BERZON
What used to be polished and tiled is now a nearly black slab of concrete. Wires coil around and dangle from an exposed ceiling. The only electrical devices not covered in plastic and tape are a series of steel fans that rest in the corner of the room.
This empty space of structural drear was once the brightly scrubbed and bustling emergency room of Coney Island Hospital the night Superstorm Sandy struck the city.
But things look better on the other side of the hallway, free run 3.0 v4 which connects to the new emergency room: a 7,500 square foot extension that initially was expected to be complete in December.
The new emergency room that survived with minimal impact from the storm was slated to be openby the end of this month offering non-emergency, walk-in services only, hospital officials announced Tuesday as they gave news reporters a tour of the progress of repairs.
Other services available were primary and specialty outpatient clinics, and an around-the-clock center for minor illnesses and injuries.
Full emergency services were due to be restored by January.
Coney Island Hospital, along with NYU Langone Medical Center and Bellevue, suffered severe hurricane damage causing a delay in fully reopening.
“At one point in that long night I peered out the window into the raging rain and wind at what had been the hospital’s parking lot,” ,said Health and Hospital Corporation President Alan Aviles. “The water in parts of the lot was knee-high.”
He knew this because about a mile away he saw people wading through it — an image he said he will never forget.
Aviles said that he was confident that the City Council’s recent appropriation of $300 million to restore public hospitals will be enough to bring them back for now and that most of it will be reimbursed by FEMA. However, long-term repairs would need more funding.
The basement was flooded from floor to ceiling within fifteen to twenty minutes of the water surge entering the hospital grounds. This caused the power to go out for four hours until they could run on backup generators.
Twenty-eight patients were evacuated from the first floor emergency room in fifteen minutes as the water rose three to four inches.
“All of a sudden I see emergency room staff grabbing stretchers and running up with them — it was a sight,” said Chief Nurse Terry Mancher. “The water was coming up to their knees. They didn’t know what was going on.”
“A symphony of car alarms and sirens” filled the hospital because dozens of cars were shorting out in the parking lot, said hospital spokesman Robert Cooper.
The smell of smoke from a car burning outside made patients nervous, he added.
A knock on the main door revealed firefighters free run 3.0 v4 femmes on a raft holding three people and two dogs. They floated in and were guided upstairs to join the other 50 community residents seeking shelter.
“Think about it,” said chief medical officer John Maese, “being sick and then around you there’s no news and you just hear this wind and rain coming and you know that something’s wrong because we have stretchers in the hallways.”
“It’s going to be a long road back for our communities and to Coney Island Hospital, “ concluded Aviles. “But we are ready and willing and able to do what we have to do to get our services up as quickly as possible.”