The damage Superstorm Sandy left on Ellis Island isn't marked by fallen trees or broken windows.
Most of the damage is underground, where the Immigration Museum’s electrical systems are.
“That all got destroyed,” said Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island David Luchsinger. “It was all flooded. The entire basement was flooded right up to the roof.”
Luchsinger said the building is now being heated by its older radiators, and that the staff is still trying to figure out the best way to manage the temperature. Because of that, many of the museum’s artifacts will be in storage for at least another month.
Still, Luchsinger couldn’t be happier about the island re-opening to tourists.
“To be able to open this place back up again and welcome visitors is just totally heart-warming,” he said.
Luchsinger added that they’re making renovations to better prevent damage in case of another superstorm. The restoration of both Ellis and Liberty Islands will cost 77 million dollars. The Statue of Liberty re-opened in July, and Luchsinger said he’s hoping to have Ellis Island fully back to normal by May 1st.