Ellis and Liberty islands struggle to recover after Hurricane Sandy.
The timing was uncanny: As it whipped up the East Coast
last October, Hurricane Sandy closed Liberty Island
to visitors one day after the Statue of
Liberty’s newly renovated interior was reopened. Damage to its companion
in New York Harbor, Ellis Island
, closed that
national landmark as well.
At press time, Liberty Island was
undergoing repair and set to reopen July 4. “At least 70 percent of the
island was inundated,” says Linda Friar, a spokesperson for the National
Park Service, which manages Liberty and Ellis islands. Staff housing
and the island’s shuttle dock were ruined. The Statue of Liberty itself
wasn’t harmed, and archival material inside it had already been removed
for the renovation.