Hurricane Sandy Recovery
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, LIBERTY ISLAND, AND ELLIS ISLAND ARE OPEN.
Both Liberty and Ellis Islands were largely submerged by the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall on the evening of October 28, 2012. Liberty Island reopened on July 4, 2013. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum reopened on October 28, 2013, although it remains a work in progress. Elevator access is available to the Great Hall on the second floor and the exhibit spaces on the third floor. Because of the storm, most of the museum collection is currently stored in a climate-controlled facility in Maryland. A temporary ventilation system will be replaced by permanent equipment in late 2014. The exhibit areas on the second and third floors are open despite the absence of many of the artifacts. The National Park Service offers Ranger-guided tours and frequent showings of the documentary film "Island of Hope, Island of Tears." Please take these conditions into consideration when planning your trip to Ellis Island.
From Flickr (SandyResponseNPS)
ABOUT HURRICANE SANDY
On October 29, 2012, flood waters from Hurricane Sandy covered 75% of Liberty Island and almost all of Ellis Island, flooding basements of all buildings with the exception of the Statue and Monument. Winds and flooding from the storm destroyed most of the infrastructure on both islands including; electric, water, sewer, HVAC systems, phone systems, security systems, and radio equipment. The visitor security screening facilities at Battery Park and Liberty State Park were destroyed. The main passenger pier and the work/emergency pier on Liberty Island were severely damaged, as were the perimeter walkway and railings around the island.
The Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island, a 12 acre island located a mile south of lower Manhattan. Normally, the confines of the New York Harbor protect Liberty Island from extreme weather. However, when Hurricane Sandy hit, Liberty Island was in the direct path of a massive storm surge. Nearby in Battery Park, water rose 13.8 feet (4.2m). On Liberty Island, that meant nearly 75% of the island was under water according to Statue of Liberty Superintendent David Luchsinger.
Fact sheet: Recovery After Hurricane Sandy, July 2013
Repairs and Restoration
Did You Know?
The Statue's original torch was the first part constructed in 1876. In 1984 it was replaced by a new copper torch covered in 24K gold leaf which is lighted by floodlight at night. The original torch is currently located in the lobby of the monument. Access to the torch has been closed since 1916.