LONG BEACH - The city of Long Beach has opened its first fully functioning emergency room, nearly three years after Superstorm Sandy wiped out Long Beach Medical Center.
South Nassau Communities Hospital had been running the facility as an urgent care center, but starting Monday, the site can now receive ambulances and is open 24 hours, seven days a week.
Helen Dorado Alessi, who runs Long Beach Latino Civic Association, says Long Beach was promised an entire hospital, and by providing only an emergency room, local leaders broke that promise.
"We feel neglected, and we feel like second-class citizens when it comes to what we were supposed to get," she says.
The site was supposed to open July 1, but it was pushed back because a back-up generator didn't meet federal requirements.
The center is Long Island's first free-standing emergency department.