One of the most important and famous monuments in the country was finally reopened on July, 4, after the island Lady Liberty suffered massive flooding and destructions caused by Superstorm Sandy eight months ago.
Even though the storm surge covered 75 percent of the island, destruvting New York Harbor docks and island walkways, buildings and electrical systems, the statue managed to withstand the intensity of the disaster.
“The statue’s 126-year-old iron framework designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel allowed for the Statue of Liberty to withstand the storm’s intense winds,” the National Park Service said.
To clean up the mess left by the storm, the National Park Service hired workers from all over the country. Besides, the agency suggested moving the storm-battered security checkpoints to Ellis Island, which is a short ferry-ride away from Liberty Island.
The New York Police Department argued that metal detectors should remain in Manhattan’s Battery Park to provide te safety in full of the statue.
The crown of the Statue of Liberty had been closed to public from 2001 to 2009, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little sick and tired of opening and closing and re-opening the Statue of Liberty, so this time, I think we’ll just keep it open,” said David Luchsinger, the superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island at Thursday’s ceremony.
“It is hard to imagine a more appropriate or powerful way to commemorate our nation’s founding than to reopen the Statue of Liberty, which is a symbol throughout the world of the freedom America cherishes,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a U.S. Department of Interior press release.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez were the guests of honour of the event. “We’ve not only repaired damage from Sandy, but we’ve also taken steps to protect Liberty Island from major storms in the future – just as we’re doing in the rest of our city, too,” said the NY mayor.
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis spoke of the importance of reopening the statue to New York’s economy, which was also hurt by Sandy.
Two years ago, one of the statue’s only typical years in recent history, 3.7 million people visited, contributing $174 million to the local economy, the press release claimed.
Ellis Island, which was completely flooded in the destructive superstorm, is still in a state of disrepair, the Department of Interior claims.
According to the estimates, once Ellis Island and Liberty Island are fully back in working order, the cost of repairs will reachup to $77 million.
As NBS News reports, although portions of Liberty Island were still littered with boarded-up areas and construction equipment Thursday.
A visitor from California, Elizabeth Bertero said, “It’s stunning, it’s beautiful. They did a great job rebuilding. You don’t really notice that anything happened.”
“I’m in awe of it,” said Mel Burns of Brisbane, Australia, “It’s a lot bigger than what I anticipated.”