Since Hurricane Sandy struck on Monday, more than 500 largely elderly and disabled patients had been living without heat or power in a public nursing facility and hospital on Roosevelt Island.
For four days, Coler Nursing Facility patients had been marooned in unlit rooms, fighting the cold with extra blankets and socks.
Power was partially restored to the facility on Friday evening, according to a Bloomberg administration spokeswoman, and this afternoon it has been fully restored, she said. Space heaters are being used, and heat and hot water is also set to be restored this afternoon as temperatures are expected to drop to the 30′s tonight.
Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, D-Manhattan, who represents the area, said she had been “very concerned about the patients” but that residents had “generally expressed” a desire to stay.
As tropical storm Sandy hit Monday evening, the backup generator and boiler system both failed at Coler, a 1,000-bed facility on the northern tip of the island that sits in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. Earlier, more than 100 of the most vulnerable patients (many on ventilators) had been evacuated to Goldwater Hospital, another chronic care facility on the island, which is operating on backup power, according to the mayor’s office.
But some 550 residents had remained at Coler without heat or power. A source provided The Insider with photos taken inside Coler on Friday. They show a nurse walking through the children’s unit, and a dim hallway in the adult patient unit.
Coler is located in Zone B and was not among the areas of the city with the highest flooding risk. The Bloomberg administration spokeswoman said a decision not to evacuate Coler had been made in part because it appeared at one point that tropical storm Sandy might be weakening.
“Because of the risks inherent in the large scale evacuation of elderly patients, a decision was made to shelter in place,” she said in an email, “at which time the most up to date information indicated that the storm was weakening and would be less severe than Irene.”
So let me get this straight... while the rest of us had heard for days that the "Superstorm" or "Frankenstorm" was going to hit southern NJ, then weaken over land, then slam into a cold front from the west that would cause the storm to change course and strengthen as it headed toward NYC, Bloomberg was hearing the opposite?
Roosevelt Island may technically be considered part of Manhattan, but is attached to Queens, so that explains the nonchalance and crappy treatment. They even have one of the generators that was supposed to be used for the marathon sitting outside now, but it's not in use.