Tuesday 17 October 2017

Statue of Liberty visits on hold

Seaweed is collected on a cyclone fence that surrounds the Statue of Liberty (AP)
Seaweed is collected on a cyclone fence that surrounds the Statue of Liberty (AP)

The Statue of Liberty survived Superstorm Sandy with every crown spike in place, but its surrounding island was so badly damaged that the National Park Service does not know when the beloved tourist attraction will reopen or how much repairs will cost.

A tour of Liberty Island showed broken railings, torn-up paving stones, damaged equipment and flood-wrecked buildings.

The storm destroyed boilers, sewage pumps and electrical systems, said David Luchsinger, the superintendent of the Statue of Liberty and of the neighbouring Ellis Island.

"Our entire infrastructure on both islands, both Liberty Island and Ellis Island, was under water," he said.

Mr Luchsinger estimated that 75% of Liberty Island's 12 acres was flooded, with water as high as eight feet.

The water would have been chest-high on the plaza that visitors cross en route from the ferry to the statue itself, he said.

Days after the storm, there was a controlled detonation of explosives on Ellis Island. Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst said the explosives were stored there to train bomb-sniffing dogs. They were compromised by the storm and had to be destroyed.

The October 29 storm came one day after the Statue of Liberty's 126th birthday and the grand reopening of the crown - though the park was closed at the time in advance of the storm. The crown had been closed for a year for a 30 million US dollar upgrade to the monument's fire alarms, sprinkler systems and exit routes.

Press Association

Independent.ie Comments Facility

INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.

We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie


Also in this section