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Ellis Island museum unlikely to reopen this year

NEW YORK – The Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which sustained severe damage to its infrastructure from the surging waters of Superstorm Sandy, is not expected to reopen to the public this year, the National Park Service said.

The Oct. 29 storm brought water levels as high as 8 feet to Ellis Island, adjacent to the home of the Statue of Liberty, destroying boilers and electrical systems.

The museum “is under repair from storm damage and will not likely be open in 2013,” the park service said Friday, as it announced that security screening for visitors to the Statue of Liberty would be moving to temporary facilities on Ellis Island.

Spokeswoman Linda Friar told the Associated Press on Sunday that the site was still without power, which was continuing to have a negative impact on the physical condition of the building. The museum showcases the stories of the millions of immigrants who passed through there to start their lives in the United States, and contains all kinds of documents, photographs and other artifacts.

Those artifacts survived the storm unscathed, but more than 1 million items had to be moved to storage facilities because it has been impossible to maintain the climate-controlled environment needed for their preservation.

Officials said earlier last week that the Statue of Liberty will reopen to the public by July 4.


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