August 28, 2011

No Damage at Weill Cornell Medical College After Tropical Storm

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New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College’s medical center, did not experience any damage after tropical storm Irene struck New York City Sunday morning, according to WCMC spokesperson Amy Pietzak.

As New York City residents prepared for the storm’s arrival, WCMC implemented its own precautions.

“New York Presbyterian Hospital is taking every step possible to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. We have an emergency preparedness plan in place, and we are working closely with government authorities,” the hospital announced in a statement on Sunday.

WCMC, which is located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, was outside the mandated evacuation zone. A New York City evacuation preparedness map, however, showed that the hospital’s neighboring block “may experience storm surge flooding” due to heavy rains.

Columbia University and New York University readied for Irene over the weekend by postponing move-in day for incoming students, which was originally scheduled for Sunday.

Elsewhere in the city, New Yorkers were anticipating the worst after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg closed all mass transit systems and ordering the evacuation of residents living along coastal “Zone A” areas on Saturday.

“Most of the storm is going to take place during the night when you’re asleep or when you get up early Sunday morning. And the most important thing to do is to stay inside,” Bloomberg said in a press release. “Our concern is making sure that the only thing that comes out of this is inconvenience and maybe a little bit of property damage. We don’t need people to die.”

Irene made landfall in North Carolina on Saturday morning with wind speeds reaching 85 m.p.h., according to the National Weather Service. The Category 1 hurricane swept up the East Coast and brought up to 15 inches of rainfall to some areas.

The National Hurricane Center saw Hurricane Irene weaken into a tropical storm as it approached New York City at around 9 a.m. Sunday, bringing 65 m.p.h. winds.

The storm left flooding throughout the city and left millions without power, but ultimately fell short of the devastation some officials had feared. Still, the East Coast sustained $7 billion in damage, the Associated Press reported.

Original Author: Dennis Liu