Bellevue Hospital Center, New York City's 276-year-old, landmark hospital for the poor, has fully reopened for the first time since it was badly damaged by flooding from Superstorm Sandy.
The hospital has been slowly restoring limited service since the storm, which sent the East River pouring into its basement.
But on Thursday, the storied Manhattan hospital reopened its level 1 trauma center, its intensive care units and its maternity ward and began admitting patients again to all 828 of its beds.
City Health and Hospitals Corporation President Alan Aviles says part of the repair work involved measures to prevent future problems during storms.
"We re-open Bellevue not just with a plan for today, but also with a long-term plan to strengthen Bellevue against storms that may strike in the future," Aviles said in a written statement. "The repair work has been performed from the beginning with an eye toward the future, fortifying important electrical systems, elevators, water supply pumps and more. This work will continue well after Bellevue returns to normal service."
During the storm, Bellevue lost its main power. It proceeded to run on backup generators through the storm, but when the National Guard discovered that there was 17 million gallons of water in the flooded basement, the decision was made to shut the hospital down and relocate the remaining 500 patients on Oct. 31.
NYU Medical Center, right next door, also evacuated after sustaining flood damage.
Bellevuein November with limited services, including walk-in non-emergency services and OB-GYN services for women.