Coney Island Hospital is shedding new light on nausea and sleeplessness, say neighbors who claim blazing, eye-dazing lights from a temporary urgent care center is driving them crazy.
The Sheepshead Bay medical center has erected four, 20-foot-tall, gas-powered halogen lamps outside of its ad-hoc urgent care center, which was removed to E. Sixth Street following damage the hospital sustained by Hurricane Sandy, and residents say the blinding light is making them queasy.
“It’s extremely bright,” said Ed Lane, who lives across the street from the urgent care center’s E. Sixth Street entrance near Shore Parkway. “It almost makes you a little nauseous when you stare at them.”
The four lights click on every evening after dusk, illuminating the urgent care entrance, E. Sixth Street, and the homes beyond until dawn, leaving residents with no option but to black out their windows and huddle indoors, according to Lane.
“You have to avoid looking at them, because they’re just blinding. I put blankets on my windows and that helps a little bit, but you can’t go outside,” Lane said. “You have to stay in your house.”
A hospital spokesman said he was unaware the lights were a problem until informed by this newspaper, and couldn’t say when they would be removed. But he said the lights are not permanent, and a rejiggering of them could solve the problem.
“I suggested to the engineering people to knock out two of the four lights, and to reposition the lights to prevent any ambient light form going to E. Sixth Street and Shore Parkway,” said Robert Cooper.
The lights were erected about two weeks after the storm hit in order to provide a safe condition for patients coming and going from the hospital as they walked through the dividing parking lot, and to provide additional security for trailers filled with construction equipment that are left unattended during the night, according to Cooper.
Lane concedes that special arrangements have to be made in order to cope with the damage cause by the hurricane, but hopes the hospital will take his own troubles — his house was also damaged by the hurricane — into consideration.
“I understand they’re recovering, but I’m recovering,” Lane said. “I spend all day ripping up my floors and dealing with FEMA, and at night I have to put blankets up on my windows.”Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn