Ellis Island museum to reopen after Sandy's floods

Oct 28, 2013 7:31 AM

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A grand reopening was planned for Monday for the historic Ellis Island, one day short of a year after it was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

On Monday, visitors will be able to tour the main floor of the Ellis Island Museum and the Great Hall. Some other exhibits will remain closed while repairs continue.

The storm flooded much of the iconic former U.S. immigration entry point with 8 feet of water on Oct. 29 of last year.

“We are delighted to be able to share Ellis Island’s uniquely American story with the world once more,” superintendent David Luchsinger said in a press release. “I can think of no better way to celebrate Lady Liberty’s 127th birthday than to welcome visitors back to the place where those ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ first came to our shores.”

The storm ended up destroying boilers and electrical systems. Ellis Island was without power for months afterward.

Documents, photographs and other artifacts survived the storm, but more than a million items had to be moved to climate-controlled storage facilities.

In March, the National Park Service said it was unlikely that Ellis Island would open this year.

Work will continue at least through the spring as new electrical, air conditioning and ventilation systems are installed, according to the National Park Service.

The neighboring Statue of Liberty reopened on July 4, only to be briefly shuttered again during the partial federal government shutdown.


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