NEW YORK — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is committing at least $1.6 billion to repair and upgrade damaged New York City public hospitals after Hurricane Sandy. The allocation is the second largest FEMA award ever.
The funds are for improvements at four New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) facilities: Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan and Coler Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island.
The funding package will include reimbursement for repairs to HHC facilities for damage incurred during Hurricane Sandy. Money will also go toward projects to help protect the hospitals from future extreme weather events. The $1.6 billion is in addition to $142 million HHC already received from FEMA for emergency stabilization measures, partial repairs and temporary flood barriers.
“Few services are as critical as our hospitals during extreme weather. This unprecedented investment will make four key public hospitals much more resilient next time they need to be,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “Thanks to FEMA’s $1.6 billion commitment, we’re taking a major step forward in advancing our comprehensive resiliency plan and ensuring that doctors, nurses and health care workers will be able to do what they do best — serve their patients.”
The funding will be split between the four hospitals for various projects. At Coney Island Hospital, $923 million will cover reimbursement for repairs already made to the basement, first floor and electrical systems. It will also include construction of a new critical services building that will house an emergency department and medical services. The hospital will also build a 1,720-foot flood wall.
Bellevue Hospital Center, which was evacuated for the first time in its history during the storm, will get $376 million to help with intensive restoration work that has already repaired or replaced equipment. The money will also help pay for a new 2,350-foot flood wall, new storm and sanitary drainage pumps, and new flood-proof elevators for the hospital’s main tower.
Metropolitan Hospital Center will receive $120 million, which includes almost $7 million for electrical repairs and $109 million for a flood wall.
At Coler Specialty Hospital, $181 million will help with replacing a generator, reimbursement for repairs already made to the electrical system and a flood wall.
On Nov. 13, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed $21 million in repairs and upgrades at Coney Island Hospital that not only helps with storm resiliency, but provides energy efficiency. The project, which includes enhancements to the hospital’s boiler room, helps protect critical equipment from extreme flooding and will provide $1.5 million in annual energy costs and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7,000 tons a year.
The project is the result of a partnership between the New York Power Authority, the HHC and National Grid, which provided more than $300,000 in funding.
“What began as an efficiency project to reduce energy costs and air pollution has been enhanced to include important measures to protect Coney Island Hospital,” Dr. Ram Raju, HHC president, said in a statement. “We are taking tremendous steps to make the hospital safe from future storms, a need that just last week was recognized by the federal government with an allocation for storm preparedness from FEMA. I thank Governor Cuomo and NYPA for their foresight, flexibility and willingness to augment the project as events warranted.”