The New York Time reports today that officials decided to leave nursing homes and other health facilities to ride out Hurricane Sandy. It is not yet clear why Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Cuomo advised against evacuation.
The recommendation that thousands of elderly, disabled and mentally ill residents remain in more than 40 nursing homes and adult homes in flood-prone areas of New York City had calamitous consequences.
At least 29 facilities in Queens and Brooklyn were severely flooded. Generators failed or were absent. Buildings were plunged into a cold, wet darkness, with no access to power, water, heat and food.
Looking back, the failure of government leaders to move New York’s most vulnerable people to safety is a mystery. The nursing homes had not been required to even have backup generators. Were these cost cutting moves? Hopefully the newpaper article will force an investigation.