The perfect storm that devastated much of the eastern seaboard on Oct. 29, 2012 took a serious toll on Ellis Island, the gateway where millions of immigrants registered to enter America. Ellis Island was closed because of severe damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, but reopened today on Oct. 28, almost one full year after the monster storm hit the northeast.
According to ABC News, the contents and exhibits in the first floor and higher levels of the Ellis Island Museum remained relatively unscathed. The basement however was totally flooded, which knocked out all of the museum’s very expensive utilities.
David Luchsinger, the National Park Service superintendent for the island and the Statue of Liberty, arrived the day after Sandy to find doors and windows blown out, pilings strewn on the grounds and the basement full of water, which destroyed the electric, heating, air conditioning and phone systems.
The Ellis Island website states that although some repairs to the island won’t be complete until the spring, and that most of the iconic photographs and exhibits are still safely tucked away in storage, there is still “plenty to see.”
The exhibits are scheduled to return to the museum after all repairs have been completed later this spring.
Rebuilding and storm proofing measures for the historic building and its utilities comes with a $21 million price tag.
For more on the reopening of Ellis Island following Superstorm Sandy, see the video accompanying this article.
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