Poor Lady Liberty. After a year of extensive renovations, the National Park Service finally opened the Statue of Liberty to the public last week; now, flooding from Sandy has forced her to close down indefinitely.
Luckily, Sandy spared the Lady herself—a surface inspection yielded no damage to the statue or her torch. But the storm surge flooded both the Statue of Liberty site and nearby Ellis Island with water from the New York Harbor, and the docks and grounds are in need of repair. A team of federal inspectors was set to do an assessment of the damage this weekend, and results or a timetable for reopening have yet to be released. "Right now, we need to take this one step at a time and our first step is to make sure that all the parks employees are safe and are OK going forward," Mindi Rambo, a spokeswoman for the National Parks of New York Harbor, told NBC News.
Lady Liberty's $30 million upgrade, which began last fall, included adding 39 new, not-as-steep steps, upgrading bathrooms and exit routes and making the observation decks at the statue's pedestal wheelchair accessible. She celebrated her 126th birthday last Sunday.