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Interior Secretary Tours Sandy Damage At Statue Of Liberty

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Liberty Island was part of the close-up tour by the Secretary of the Interior Thursday, but it won't be getting any tourists in the near future.

WCBS 880's Ginny Kosola On The Story


"We're very proud of this place, and it will be back," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.

Sections of the brick walkways around the Statue of Liberty have crumbled while some parts were washed away by superstorm Sandy. So, too, were some parts of fences and retaining walls for the lawn that surrounds Lady Liberty.

One of the docks is also a mangled mess.

Liberty Island Dock Sandy
A damaged dock on Liberty Island - Dec. 13, 2012 (credit: Ginny Kosola / WCBS 880)

But the statue itself is okay.

"The statue itself, the pedestal, the monument is in good shape," Salazar told reporters who accompanied him on his tour.

Salazar says there is a lot to be done, and he can't make any estimate on when Liberty and Ellis Islands will re-open.

"The damage that I saw is extensive here. Infrastructure has to be replace," he said. "We're going to get this done as soon as we possibly can."

Daivid Luchsinger, Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, lived on Liberty Island and lost just about everything to flooding.

"It seems like the dream job and now, what a nightmare," WCBS 880 reporter Ginny Kosola said to him.

"It still is the dream job. It still is the dream job," he replied. "Temporarily, I'm staying with my mother-in-law down in Central Jersey."

He noted that when the island reopens, a live-in superintendent won't be necessary.

"At least I'll be able to say I was the last one to stay here," he said.

Statue of Liberty Sandy Liberty Island
Reporters and officials tour the damage from Sandy on Liberty Island - Dec. 13, 2012 (credit: Ginny Kosola / WCBS 880)

The Statue's crown had just reopened the Sunday before Sandy hit and that was after a year of renovations.

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