Coney Island began preparations Thursday to follow the Mayor Michael Bloomberg's order that nursing homes and hospitals in "Zone A" low-lying areas should evacuate on Friday. NY1's Nicole Ward filed the following report.
People being treated at hospitals in New York City's low-lying areas are among the most vulnerable to flooding and a storm surge. There are five such facilities in "Zone A," which Mayor Michael Bloomberg has directed to evacuate before 8 p.m. Friday.
At Brooklyn's Coney Island Hospital, all elective surgeries have been rescheduled and they transferred patients to other hospitals with available capacity Friday.
All patients deemed healthy enough to be on their own were already being sent home.
"I had a fracture in my pinkie and I had a dislocated wrist," said Adil Khan, one of the discharged patients.
Khan said he came to the hospital at 2 p.m., got an X-ray pretty quickly and then waited about five hours to be treated. He told NY1 that hospital staff members were talking about the emergency plans for dealing with Hurricane Irene.
"A lot of people are getting angry because a lot of people aren't getting the treatment they're probably used to, coming to an emergency room," he said.
A doctor just arriving at Coney Island Hospital told NY1 that a hurricane is a whole new experience for her.
"I'm nervous about that because I've seen the water flooding on TV, in movies, but never in person. So that's why I'm very nervous," she said.
In addition to Coney Island, NYU Langone Medical Center, the Veteran's Administration Medical Center in Manhattan and Staten Island University Hospital's North and South Campuses are facing evacuations, as well as nursing homes and senior centers in the same areas.
The only way a hospital or similar facility in "Zone A" can get out of evacuating is if it gets permission from top city and state health officials.