Friday 24 January 2020

Ellis Island is back – a year after superstorm

A National Park Service Ranger at Ellis Island Museum
A National Park Service Ranger at Ellis Island Museum
Young tourists read the lists of immigrants who passed through

Jennifer Peltz

The island that ushered millions of immigrants into the US received visitors yesterday for the first time since Superstorm Sandy devastated the east coast.

The halls and buildings of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum reopened nearly a year after the storm.

Sandy swamped boilers and electrical systems and left the 27.5-acre island without power for months.

"It was so heartwarming to see visitors step onto this island," said David Luchsinger, superintendent for Ellis Island and the neighbouring Statue of Liberty.

"This is an icon," he said, speaking of its role in the nation's diversity. "It's what this country is all about."

More than one million photographs and other Ellis Island artifacts remain in storage while buildings are fixed and upgraded. The storm flooded the museum up to the basement ceiling.

Mr Luchsinger estimated the repairs will take 18 months and cost $21m (€15m) in all.

Irish Independent

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