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Hurricane Sandy Begins to Impact North Shore-LIJ Hospitals

October 29, 2012

As Hurricane Sandy neared landfall, hospitals and other facilities throughout the were already beginning to see the impact of the storm’s wind, rain and surge, with sporadic power outages and flooding occurring by mid-Monday afternoon. All of North Shore-LIJ’s 16 hospitals and emergency departments were operational late Monday afternoon, with a full complement of staff needed to meet patients’ needs.

There was a particular concern about high tide this evening, when the surge is expected to exceed 11 feet, which could pose flooding problems at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY. Another facility located in a low-lying area, Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH), began experiencing flooding problems early Monday afternoon. Flooding caused the evacuation of the building housing SIUH’s Data Center, which effectively shut down the hospital’s computers and prevented staff from accessing electronic medical records, pharmacy and laboratory results, and other applications. However, SIUH staff was able to preserve patient safety by relying on paper records.

Also at Staten Island, wind caused major damage the roof of the hospital’s Medical Arts Pavilion at 242 Mason Avenue.

As they have throughout the weekend, North Shore-LIJ ambulances were out in force on Monday. In eastern Suffolk County, crews assisted in the evacuation of 26 patients from Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, bringing them to Stony Brook University Medical Center and Peconic Bay Medical Center in Peconic, NY. North Shore-LIJ’s Center for Emergency Medical Services ordered its ambulances off the road at 4:30 p.m. Monday, when sustained winds began to exceed 50 mph.

North Shore-LIJ emergency departments have also been extremely busy, especially at SIUH. North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY, and Glen Cove, Plainview and Syosset hospitals were all experiencing power outages and operating on back-up power as of late Monday afternoon.

Family members and loved ones looking to check on the status of patients at North Shore-LIJ hospitals can call the health system’s Hurricane Sandy Patient Information Hotline at: 1-855-473-6399.

As reported over the weekend, North Shore-LIJ cancelled elective surgeries and clinical appointments scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. All outpatient and administrative offices will also be closed on those days.

All North Shore-LIJ hospitals and long-term care facilities are sufficiently staffed until Wednesday. Last Friday, employees at the health system’s patient care facilities were advised that they would be asked to stay at their facilities beyond their regular work shifts when they arrived at work on Monday.

For periodic updates, patients and other consumers can go to the North Shore-LIJ web site (www.northshorelij.com), the health system’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/northshorelij or Twitter page: http://twitter.com/northshorelij.

NOTE: The health system’s Public Relations Office will provide the news media with periodic updates about its emergency response efforts throughout the storm. To reach a spokesperson after hours or on the weekend, call the department’s pager at 516-975-4974 and leave a phone number where you can be reached.

Media Contact: Terry Lynam
 516-316-2389
 tlynam@nshs.edu