Floods render NYC hospitals powerless

by David B. Caruso

(AP)—There are few places in the U.S. where hospitals have put as much thought and money into disaster planning as New York.

And yet efforts to defend two of the city's busiest, most important medical centers against flooding broke down during Superstorm Sandy this week.

Nearly 1,000 patients had to be evacuated from NYU Langone and Bellevue Hospital Center after backup power systems failed when their basements flooded.

Both hospitals say they fortified their equipment against floods within the past few years. But the water found a way in anyway.

Experts say hospital evacuations because of power failures are rare, but problems with the backup systems at medical centers probably need greater attention.

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