May 1, 2013 | 1 comment | 1 view
Long Beach Medical Center reopening delayed
Storm-damaged hospital was slated to resume emergency department services this week
Long Beach Medical Center, which was slated to reopen this week, has hit yet another delay.
Officials at the storm-battered facility had been eyeing a mid- to late-April opening. The 162-bed hospital has remained closed as it undergoes repairs, after 10 feet of water damaged the facility’s basement area, which housed not only its electrical, heating and mechanical systems but also its pharmacy, central supply and purchasing departments as well as a family care center.
Hospital spokeswoman Sharon Player said that two of the hospital’s five wings were expected to reopen by the end of April — its west and main pavilions, which include its emergency department. Those wings, she said, were undergoing mostly cosmetic repairs. A new heating system was being installed on the second floor of the west wing, while the pharmacy and supply room will be located on the third floor as part of the hospital’s mitigation efforts with FEMA.
Player attributed the biggest delays to the challenges of obtaining sewage and fire pumps, which have been hard to come by since the storm. She attributed part of the most recent delay to a request from the Nassau County Fire Marshal that the hospital install a new fire suppression system, since 250-feet of piping was submerged in floodwater and damaged.
“That was something that was new that wasn’t anticipated,” she said. “We had to … install all new pipes and valves throughout the entire basement to feed the sprinkler system throughout the institution, and it’s a good move safety wise. We’re hoping to have that done this week.”
Power has been restored in the main building and the west wing — which houses the emergency department. Player said that the Long Island Power Authority also held up the reopening as it completed its connectivity work in the main building, which was delayed by a week and a half and slowed the testing of clinical equipment such as MRI, CT Scan and other lab equipment.