October 28: There’s good news at New York’s Ellis Island and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which reopens today – one year after the island was completely submerged by the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy. The damage was extensive: electrical, water, sewage, telephone, heating, air conditioning. Sandy swamped boilers and electrical systems and left the 27.5-acre island without power for months.
More than one million photographs and objects in the Immigration Museum were packed up and removed to Maryland where they are in safekeeping until the US National Park Service can complete an overall $77 million in repairs. The Island was partially reopened in July, then closed again during the government shutdown earlier this month.
The museum was flooded up to the basement ceiling and the surge knocked out the systems – heating-air conditioning and security –that could ensure the safety of upstairs collections. These repairs will take an estimated 18 months and $21 million.
Don’t worry: the heat is on but the objects will remain in storage until the last kinks are worked out in regulating the radiators.
Come back and learn what happened to some of New York’s iconic museums, gardens and cultural sites –Central Park, The New York Botanical Garden, New York Aquarium, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and South Street Seaport and others – that are working on the costly cleanup and recovery. We’ll head to New Jersey too to look at historical sites that were damaged and what communities are doing to help in the recovery.