Trapped in the Towers
Sheehy, Gail, Newsweek
Byline: Gail Sheehy
Rushing in to save the seniors.
The real test of the army of caregivers for tens of thousands of seniors trapped at home when Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast began the day after the storm ended. Eloise Goldberg, the Visiting Nurse Service
of New York supervisor for the Bronx and half of Long Island, stepped out of her home about 50 miles east of New York City on Tuesday morning, jumped into her car (her husband's was crushed beneath an oak tree), and
began to figure out how to get 11,000 home health aides and 3,500 clinicians to their pa- tients. "We had been prepar- ing our field staff for several days so they would have cell- phone connections with their patients, but now we were up against massive flooding and blackouts and fires."
On the Rockaway peninsula in Queens, where the Atlantic had cut through to join Jamaica Bay, nurses had begun to call Goldberg's cell during the height of the storm on Mon- day. One nurse said she was wading in to reach trapped patients. She walked seven blocks through knee-high water to get to a group home and found medicines had been washed away. She would get prescriptions refilled and return, she promised. But
by afternoon, downed wires sparked fires that eventu-
ally consumed 60 houses.
By nightfall, more than 100 homes were destroyed.
Many patients who had refused to evacuate were des- perate to escape floodwaters that were climbing past the first floors. Each nurse on Goldberg's Long Island team was …
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Publication information: Article title: Trapped in the Towers. Contributors: Sheehy, Gail - Author. Magazine title: Newsweek. Volume: 160. Issue: 20 Publication date: November 12, 2012. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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