By Nick Brown
NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Federal bankruptcy court in
Manhattan will reopen on Tuesday after being closed for more
than two weeks due to flooding and other damage caused by
Hurricane Sandy, according to its website.
The court, which had been without steam, Internet and phone
connection, is "now operational," according to an announcement
on the site on Monday.
For large companies restructuring under Chapter 11 in New
York, like Patriot Coal Corp and American Airlines parent AMR
Corp, it means returning to normal after days of postponed or
relocated court hearings.
The court, a major hub for corporate restructurings and
liquidations, is located at One Bowling Green, near Manhattan's
southernmost tip. The area suffered major flooding and power
outages after Hurricane Sandy touched ground in the New York
area on Oct. 28.
While workers were able to drain water and sewage that had
flooded the courthouse basement within a day or so, the building
remained without heat, Internet or phone.
By court order, judges were allowed to move hearings to
other courts. Some companies, like AMR, held hearings in White
Plains, New York, while others, like the liquidating financial
giant Lehman Brothers Holdings, postponed them altogether.
Stephanie Cirkovich, a spokeswoman for the federal court
system in the Southern District of New York, told Reuters on
Monday that she was not aware of a planned reopening on Tuesday.
Court employees were off on Monday due to the Veterans Day
Renee Miscione, a spokeswoman for the U.S. General Services
Administration, told Reuters in a phone interview that all GSA
buildings affected by Hurricane Sandy, including the courthouse,
are fully operational.
The court is housed in the Alexander Hamilton Custom House,
an ornate Beaux-Arts-style building designed by architect Cass
Gilbert at the beginning of the 1900s. As a custom house, it was
the revenue collection point for the lower Manhattan port. The
building stood vacant for much of the 1970s before undergoing
major renovations. The bankruptcy court moved into the structure
(Corrects spelling of surname in 7th paragraph to Cirkovich
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