After Sandy, LI hospitals open on generators

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Many hospitals across the Island were operating on generators Tuesday and were packed with patients after the fury of Hurricane Sandy.

Paul Connor, chief executive of Eastern Long Island Hospital, said the Greenport hospital was in the process of retrieving its 40 patients after it decided to evacuate them Monday.

Connor, who stayed through the storm, said the hospital was at one point surrounded by water, but had miraculously survived intact.

"We are fortunate there was no damage," he said.

With the aid of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System ambulances, the hospital sent 12 patients to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, a dozen psychiatric patients to Stony Brook University Hospital and the rest to Peconic Landing in Greenport.

Demetrios Kadenas, vice president and chief development officer for Peconic Bay Medical Center, said full power had been restored at the Riverhead hospital around 2 p.m. Tuesday and that it planned to resume already scheduled surgeries Wednesday.

Southampton Hospital was one of several hospitals reporting Tuesday that it was on full power. It was also packed with patients, said spokeswoman Marsha Kenny.

"There's been a considerable uptick in our census," she said. Many were "medically fragile" patients who could not remain at home without power, she said.

All six of Catholic Health Services' hospitals were operating on backup generators, said spokeswoman Christine Hendriks. She said the 50 patients evacuated before the storm from Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip would return to the hospital "probably tomorrow."

Stony Brook University Hospital was operating on full power but the hospital has canceled elective surgical and ambulatory procedures, said hospital spokesman Clinton Weaver. However, the hospital asked that staff still report for work.

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In addition to the 12 patients from Eastern Long Island Hospital who would be returning Wednesday to Greenport, 18 patients Stony Brook had accepted from Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Sayville would be returning Tuesday night, he said.

Southside Hospital in Bay Shore was the only one of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System hospitals on Long Island to suffer damage from the hurricane -- which was minor, according to spokesman Terry Lynam. He said the hospital's emergency department was "very busy."

On Long Island, Glen Cove, Huntington, Plainview and Syosset hospitals and the Stern Family Center for Rehabilitation in Manhasset were on backup power, he said.

Staten Island University Hospital, part of North Shore-LIJ, suffered flood damage and its data center will be out of service "for an indefinite period," the health system said.

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The health system's hospitals took in 93 of about 200 patients evacuated early Tuesday morning from NYU Langone Medical Center in lower Manhattan after NYU's generators failed, Lynam said.

Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan received 84 patients, Forest Hills Hospital accepted seven and North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset took in three. North Shore also received two patients who were dependent on a ventilator from Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan.

Family members who want to check on the status of transferred patients can call 1-855-473-6399.

Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, operating on a generator, has canceled elective procedures, said spokesman Edmund Keating. "We want to make certain the ORs are available for any emergency," he said.

Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow was on full power and full of patients. Arthur Gianelli, NUMC's chief executive, said the hospital would begin putting patients who would normally be discharged but couldn't go home because of storm damage, in the auditorium. All five of the hospital's community clinics were without power and remained closed, he said. If someone had an appointment, he asked them to call 516-572-5107 during the day.

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South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside took in 28 residents brought to the hospital by the National Guard during the storm Monday, according to hospital spokesman Damian Becker. By midday Tuesday, most of the residents had been transferred to a shelter in Levittown.

The hospital's off-site dialysis center had been flooded under six feet of water, he said, and the hospital was urging patients who haven't already been contacted to come to the hospital.

Long Beach Medical Center, which had been evacuated and closed before the storm, remained shut down.

-- With Emily C. Dooley

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