Statue of Liberty survives Sandy, its home doesn’t

Dec 02 2012, 00:44 IST
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SummaryAdd the following to the long list of items that took a beating when Hurricane Sandy blasted by — a dock that was refashioned in the twisting, turning shape of a water slide

JAMES BARRON

Add the following to the long list of items that took a beating when Hurricane Sandy blasted by — a dock that was refashioned in the twisting, turning shape of a water slide; a sea wall that started to pull away from the shoreline; and a fence that took on a gaptoothed look when long sections were extracted.

Do not add the figure in the green dress that towers 305 feet over all that. “The Statue of Liberty is fine,” said David Luchsinger, superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and probably the last full-time resident of Liberty Island.

“It was pretty much demolished,” Luchsinger said during an island tour Friday.

By contrast, about 75 percent of Liberty Island’s 12 acres was underwater during the storm. Luchsinger said water swirled toward the star-shaped early-19th-century fort that serves as the statue’s base. “It got close to the base,” he said, “but it didn’t make the base.”

Still, the information building and an administration building were flooded, as was the building that housed transformers for the island’s electrical system. Its backup generator was also ruined.

The statue, designed to sway in the wind, was unharmed. The National Park Service says it can move three inches in 50 mile per hour winds. The highest wind recorded during Hurricane Sandy was 94 mph.

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