Lady Liberty sees some damage after superstorm Sandy

    8:12 AM, Nov 30, 2012   |    comments
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    NEW YORK (CNN) -- Lady Liberty took the worst of what Superstorm Sandy had to offer and the statue is still standing. But the superstorm did set back its big re-introduction to the huddled masses.

    One month after Superstorm Sandy's wrath, Lady Liberty stands tall in New York Harbor, but the beacon of light is still littered with debris. Bricks ripped up from the ground, a boat washed up on shore at nearby Ellis Island, all the result of Sandy.

    While the statue itself is intact, the grounds suffered enough damage to force the closure of the park to the public indefinitely. The National Park Service is now in the midst of a massive cleanup effort in hopes of reopening both parks sometime early next year.

    One month after Sandy devastated the area, there is still plenty of work to do. One of the main dock to Liberty Island is now floating. Statue of Liberty superintendent Dave Luchsinger says, "Currently, our carrying capacity on the island is determined by how we can get people off and so, if we lose this dock we lose one boatload, which means I have to reduce the number of people who come to visit."

    The effects of Sandy aren't just structural. Concession worker and ferry employees were laid off this week due to the extended closure of both islands.

    Dave Luchsinger is the superintendent of the Statue of Liberty. He can't help but take his work home with him. He actually lives here. The offices next door, a stark reminder of Sandy's toll.
    He says, "Because where on the corner there, we sustained so much more damage. To me, to have a job that you love, to have a job that you can come to and be so excited about everyday, it's an honor I couldn't begin to describe."

    But the Statue of Liberty remains an icon of hope and promise of better days ahead. Luchsinger says, "As sad as it is to see it in the state it's in right now, I know it's going to be better."

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