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NYC nursing homes struggle in wake of Hurricane Sandy

October 30, 2012
by Patricia Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief
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Several nursing homes in the Rockaways area of New York City, which were heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy, struggled with flooding and damaged generators, according to a report in The New York Times.

Administrators at Horizon Care Center and Seaview Manor told The New York Times they had repeatedly sought instructions and advice from the city’s emergency management authorities but did not receive directions to evacuate before the surge hit between 8 p.m. and midnight on Monday.

At Horizon, all 269 residents had been moved to the second floor when the surge came, according to the report. But there was rapid flooding within five minutes and the generator was knocked out within 10 minutes, said Nicole Markowitz, an administrator.

Markowitz told the Times they had stayed put because the city did not give them orders to evacuate. “We weren’t mandated to leave,” Markowitz said. “It’s much harder to leave than to stay.”

At Seaview Manor, a case manager told a Times reporter on Tuesday morning that the generator was out and several staff members had fled the facility that morning.

The manager said the staff had called the city’s emergency operations center a few times during the night. “They said they’re going to get back to me,” she said. “They never did.”

Late in the morning, the facility began directing a few residents into a van for evacuation, according to the report.

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