By Sabina Mollot
It was over five years ago when Superstorm Sandy flooded much of Manhattan’s East Side, crippling hospitals in Bedpan Alley. But it was the VA Medical Center on East 23rd Street that fared the worst, closing for six months.
Today, thanks to $207 million in federal relief money, the veterans’ hospital, while fully operational, is still undergoing work to replace systems that need to be upgraded rather than just repaired in the event of a future catastrophe.
Martina Parauda, director of VA NY Harbor Healthcare System (which includes local facilities including the Manhattan one), spoke to veterans about some of the ongoing projects at a town hall meeting on Tuesday morning.
The massive floodwall that began construction in 2015 is mostly done, including parts that can’t be seen like underwater pumps. It was originally supposed to be completed in 2016, but the VA has previously said underground excavation proved to be more complicated than expected.