Months after Superstorm Sandy overwhelmed Lady Liberty’s 12 acre island in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty is finally reopening.
The Associated Press reports that quite a large crowd gathered for the holiday and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Lines of tourists stretched for blocks as people waited to board the boat from Battery Park.
The statue itself was reportedly spared during the storm, but the island itself “took a serious beating.” Docks and paving stones were ripped up, safety railings were broken, and the buildings on the island were flooded. Sewage pumps, boilers, and the electrical systems were also destroyed. While there is still some ongoing work to brick walkways and docks, most of the work has now been completed by the hundreds of National Park Service workers from as far away as California and Alaska who spent weeks cleaning mud and debris.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said, “It is one of the most enduring icons of America, and we pulled it off — it’s open today. Welcome.” And David Luchsinger, the Liberty Island Superintendent, noted that the island had only been reopened for a day after being closed for a year for security upgrades before Sandy struck. He said, “”I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little sick and tired of opening as closing the Statue of Liberty. I think we will keep it open this time.”
Feature photo: AP/Richard Drew