NYU Starts Seeing Some Patients, but Bulk of Hospital Remains Closed

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New York University Langone Medical Center reopened many of its outpatient offices, and the 600 students in the medical school went back to classes – but it’s still not clear when the hospital will open its emergency room, surgical suites and labor and delivery ward.

A spokeswoman says an outside engineering expert is assessing the damage from last week’s storm that led to the dramatic evacuation of patients while winds were still blowing strong.

“We don’t want to promise we’ll open by a certain day and then not deliver,” said Lisa Greiner, the director of public relations.

Greiner said a preliminary assessment by an in-house team determined that it was the 15-foot-deep flood waters that led to the evacuation, not a power failure. She also said that the backup generators shut off briefly, but did not failed.

Damage occurred only in the basement, including the pits below the elevators, Greiner said, but did not affect patient treatment areas or sensitive equipment.

The hospital plans to build new flood barriers and a seven-story power generation plant which will provide the hospital with a largely independent source of electricity.