10/30/2012 06:21 pm ET

NYU Hospital Defends Failed Generators That Forced Evacuation During Hurricane Sandy

The failed backup power generators that led to the evacuation of the New York University Langone Medical Center in Manhattan are adequate, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

"Our generators are fully compliant with all state and federal regulations and, using good prudence, we test them all the time as we have to do anyway," Lisa Greiner told HuffPost. More than 200 patients, including 20 infants from the neonatal intensive care unit, were relocated to other hospitals during Hurricane Sandy on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The chairman of the hospital's board, who was one of the patients evacuated Monday night, said he and NYU believed the generators would hold up through the storm, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. “Do you think they’d have kept me in there if they thought I was going to be unsafe?” Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone told Bloomberg News.

One of the hospital's trustees gave a different account to Bloomberg TV. Gary Cohn, the president of Goldman Sachs Group, said the generators "are not state-of-the-art" and that the hospital's board was aware of problems. “The infrastructure at NYU is somewhat old,” he said on Bloomberg TV.

Greiner wouldn't respond to Cohn's statement and said NYU can't answer why the generators failed. "We're assessing what happened. We don't know yet. That's why an assessment's being done," she said. Greiner wouldn't say when more information would be available.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to leave the NYU hospital open during the storm, even though it's located inside an evacuation zone and sits alongside the East River. When Hurricane Irene approached the city last year, Bloomberg shuttered the hospital in advance.

On Monday, the NYU hospital canceled non-emergency services for Monday and Tuesday and moved hundreds of patients to other facilities in advance.

Bloomberg told reporters Sunday that city inspectors would check hospitals' generators and promised no public emergency rooms in New York would close.

"The one thing that we had not counted on, New York University's hospital back-up power -- in spite of them making sure, ensuring us that it's been tested -- stopped working," Bloomberg said Monday.

All of the patients in the hospital Monday night were moved to other New York medical facilities, including Lenox Hill Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. All of patients evacuated from the NYU hospital, Coney Island Hospital, New York Downtown Hospital or the Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System survived being relocated, Bloomberg said Tuesday.



11/04/2012 12:26 AM EDT

PHOTO: A Marathon Wedding Proposal, Minus The Marathon

HuffPost's Katie Bindley reports:

Like all the competitors who trained for the 2012 NYC Marathon, Hannah Vahaba will not be running the race this year. But she also will never forget her moment at the finish line. After traveling in from Atlanta, Vahaba picked up a marriage proposal in Central Park on Saturday without having to traverse the 26.2-mile course.

"This is my fiance," said Vahaba, 31, who had tears running down her face as she stood in Central Park where the race would have ended, just moments after Martin O'Donoghue had proposed.

marriage proposal cancelled nyc marathon

Photo by Damon Scheleur

Read the full story here.

11/04/2012 12:25 AM EDT

Check Donation Lists

Be sure to check donation lists to see what items are needed. For example, at one Staten Island donation center, there is a critical need for batteries batteries batteries, candles, matches, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, pet food, baby supplies, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. Clothing isn't needed as much at that center.

-Catharine Smith, HuffPost

11/03/2012 10:42 PM EDT

Brooklyn Regions Still Lack Electricity, Heat and Water Days After Storm

HuffPost's Tim Stenovec reports:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which killed at least 48 people in New York when it battered the Northeast last week, frustrated residents in this corner of South Brooklyn are coping without electricity, heat and running water.

Read the full story here.

11/03/2012 10:18 PM EDT

On Long Island, Cuomo demands Accountability from Utilities

Huntington Patch reports:

At a massive food distribution event at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Cuomo said power has been restored to 60 percent of the New York metropolitan area.

LIPA reported Saturday evening that 460,000 customers remained without power, down from more than 900,000 initially.

"I've warned the utility companies repeatedly they operate under a state charter, essentially," Cuomo said. "The utility companies are not happy with my warning and frankly, I don't care."

"The customers are not happy. The bill payers are not happy and the people without power are not happy," Cuomo said. "People are suffering. It is an issue of safety and if the utilities were not prepared we will hold them accountable."

Read the full story on Huntington Patch.

11/03/2012 9:38 PM EDT

Gasoline Shortage Likely To Last For Several More Days

Even as power returns to parts of the region assailed by Hurricane Sandy, millions of drivers seeking gasoline appear likely to face at least several more days of persistent shortages.

Read the full story here.

11/03/2012 8:50 PM EDT

Behind @ConEdison: The 27 Year-Old Preventing Panic, One Tweet At A Time

HuffPost's Bianca Bosker:

On Saturday, 27-year-old Kate Frasca was manning Con Edison’s Twitter account, @ConEdison, responding to customers’ frustrations, questions, praise and criticism at an average clip of one tweet every six minutes.

Read the full story here.

11/03/2012 8:35 PM EDT

Estimate Says 600 Million Gallons Of Water Hit Mass Transit System


Roughly 600 M gallons of storm water infiltrated the nation’s busiest and oldest underground mass transit system...

11/03/2012 8:15 PM EDT

$12 Million Donated So Far To NYC Mayor's Fund For Recovery

@ MikeBloomberg :

If you would like to donate: visit So far $12 million has been contributed. 100% of funds go to #Recovery efforts.

11/03/2012 7:52 PM EDT

Don't Touch Downed Power Lines

@ usNWSgov :

Post #Sandy reminders: never touch a downed power line or anything touching one. Washing your hands prevents illness. #NWS #CDC

11/03/2012 7:17 PM EDT

Volunteers Arrive In Staten Island

@ NYCMayorsOffice :

Volunteers Descend on Staten Island Neighborhood