NYU Opens ER For First Time Since Sandy

NEW YORK (AP) -

A year and a half after Superstorm Sandy hit New York, a major city emergency facility that was destroyed finally fully reopened Thursday — with waterproof walls.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and other dignitaries to celebrate at the NYU Langone Medical Center, now triple the size of the old one and equipped with the latest technology. The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Emergency Services has more treatment rooms with added activities for kids.

It’s named after the New York billionaire who donated $50 million to finance the new 22,000-square-foot facility.

“I can assure you that this is going to be the best of its kind in the world, with the best care and the best equipment,” Perelman said during a news conference at the medical center on Manhattan’s East Side.

On Oct. 29, 2012, the storm surge sent 15 million gallons of water rushing into NYU, which lost its backup generator power. More than 300 patients had to be evacuated, with flashlights to guide patients on “med sleds” to the street and other hospitals.

“It’s high-tech, beautiful and welcoming to children,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney said, adding to a burst of laughter, “It almost makes me feel like I want an emergency.”