The emergency room at the Hurricane Ike-devastated University of Texas Medical Branch is scheduled to reopen Saturday.

Mike Hill, associate chief operating officer, says "it's been a long time coming."

Ike hit Galveston on Sept. 13, swamping parts of the island and forcing thousands of residents to flee. Medical services were among the affected operations.

Hill says the reopening will take some of the burden off Houston hospitals that have been accepting UTMB patients since the emergency room was closed.

The Galveston County Daily News reported Wednesday that doctors and nurses were training and UTMB planned two trial runs before it reopens the emergency room.