The full weight of costs that Hurricane Irene dropped on East Coast hospitals won't be known for weeks or months, even though most escaped without significant damage.
New York hospitals that emptied out before the storm quickly reopened, but many beds remained vacant. In Maryland, a hospital laboratory flooded through a damaged roof. Hospital workers in Vermont moved into nearby hotels after storm damage lengthened commutes from 30 minutes to three hours.
Hospital finance chiefs face a complex task in tallying the costs of preparations, evacuations, repairs and lost revenue. The storm, which claimed dozens of lives and devastated some communities, made landfall Aug. 27 in North Carolina as a hurricane and reached New York City the next day as a tropical storm before continuing north.