Bellevue Hospital in New York City announced at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time that it has begun a full evacuation of all patients to nearby healthcare facilities due to storm damage.
According to news reports the hospital, which is located along the East River in Manhattan, is evacuating 500 patients. Mayor Bloomberg, in a news conference, said the hospital is in the process of locating beds for evacuated patients.
Mayor Bloomberg noted that the National Guard was helping to supply additional fuel to the auxiliary generator on the hospital’s roof on the morning of Wednesday, October 31, and hospital officials had thought the facility could continue to operate on generator power. Subsequently they found that equipment in the basement had suffered major damage, forcing the evacuation.
The New York Times reported that the Health Department has authorized "surge capacity plans," and that urgent appeals have been made to other hospitals to take on Bellevue's patients. It also said that officials at other hospitals have been asked to take on patients above their normal capacities, under rules in place for catastrophic events.
Bellevue’s evacuation follows the evacuation of patients from NYU Langone Medical Center on Monday night. According to CBS News, other New York City hospitals that have lost power during the storm include New York Downtown Hospital, Manhattan VA Medical Center and Coney Island Hospital.