Sandy-damaged Ellis Island to remain closed for the year
New York, NY, United States (4E) – Historic Ellis Island will be closed to tourism for the rest of the year due to heavy damage it sustained from Hurricane Sandy in October, according to Save Ellis Island (SEI).
All programs of SEI scheduled for 2013 were also cancelled, said Janis Calella, president of the organization that raises funds for the rehabilitation, preservation and restoration of the U.S. immigration center from 1892 to 1954.
The island, which is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, was inundated by Sandy’s floodwaters washing out the Ferry Building together with a $400,000 exhibit there.
Floodwater also breached the island’s sea wall and flooded the first floor of the Immigration Museum. Newly-restored administration buildings were destroyed and so were electric, ventilation and communications systems of the island.
All infrastructure is in basements that were submerged in seawater and destroyed, according to David Luchsinger, the chief Park Service administrator.
Luchsinger said Ellis Island’s historic artifacts were not damaged and have been moved to Maryland for safe-keeping.
The National Park Service, which manages Ellis Island, has $20 million budget for restoring the island but the money is not enough for rebuilding the place.
In November, companies serving Ellis Island laid off some 400 workers following the indefinite closure of the island.