We're just now able to see the real impact Hurricane Sandy had over night in New York City and along the East Coast. Things aren't looking good. Not only was there massive flooding in many parts of the city, but NYU hospital lost its backup power and all patients had to be transported to another hospital. Sick, intensive care babies with battery powered respirators and patients were carried by nurses and doctors down as many as 15 flights of stairs.
At times with only flashlights to illuminate the way, NYU Langone Medical Center was evacuating some 260 patients, carrying some of them down 15 flights of stairs to awaiting ambulances ready to take them to the safety of other hospitals.
NYU didn't anticipate such heavy flooding from Sandy, the superstorm that hit Monday, and chose not to evacuate all its patients before the storm, as they did with Hurricane Irene a year ago. But between 7 and 7:45 p.m. Monday, the hospital's basement, lower floors, and elevator shafts filled with 10 to 12 feet of water, and the hospital lost its power, according to Dr. Andrew Brotman, senior vice president and vice dean for clinical affairs and strategy.
"Things went downhill very, very rapidly and very unexpectedly," he said. "The flooding was just unprecedented."
Emergency generators did kick in, but two hours later, about 90% of that power went out, and the hospital decided to evacuate.
By 1:30 a.m., about half the patients had been evacuated, including all the patients in the adult, pediatric, and newborn intensive care units. Brotman said he anticipated the evacuation would last until around 6:30 a.m.
On top of that, fires broke out all over New York City and in the areas surrounding the city with more than 50 homes being destroyed in Queens.
Here is video of an electrical transformer exploding.
And video of the front of a building collapsing:
Other related things:
Other storm-related events:
— Airlines canceled around 12,500 flights nationally because of the storm.
— The Indian Point nuclear power plant about 45 miles north of New York City was shut down Monday night because of external electrical grid issues. Entergy Corp., which operates the plant, said there was no risk to employees or the public.
— An "unusual event" was declared at the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey Township, N.J., when waters searched to 6 feet above sea level during the evening. The reactor was offline for regular maintenance and the event was quickly upgraded to an alert, the second-lowest in a four-tiered warning system.
— In Baltimore, four unoccupied rowhouses collapsed in the storm, sending debris into the street but causing no injuries.
— A blizzard in western Maryland caused a pileup of tractor-trailers that blocked the westbound lanes of Interstate 68.
— Winds as high as 60 mph caused officials to close the port of Portland, Maine, keeping several cruise ships from docking.
More than a dozen people have been killed, streets are flooded and 7 million people across the East Coast do not have power this morning. It's also cold. We'll know more about the results of Sandy as the day goes on. What a horrible horrible situation.