Sandy-damaged Statue of Liberty to reopen in July 0

In a Nov. 30, 2012, file photo, parts of the brick walkway of Liberty Island that were damaged in Superstorm Sandy are shown during a tour of New York's Liberty Island. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, announced on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, that the Statue of Liberty is scheduled to reopen by Independence Day, about eight months after it was closed because of Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)STATE COLLEGE, PA — AccuWeather — Repairs to the Statue of Liberty and structures on Ellis Island are expected to be completed in time to reopen to visitors for the Fourth of July festivities.

The statue and island structures were damaged as Sandy devastated coastal areas of the Northeast over the weekend of Oct. 28-29, 2012.

With storm surges in New York reaching as much as 12.5 feet above normal in Kings Point, many parts of New York as well as New Jersey were inundated by water. Winds tore through the states with gusts as high as 94 mph.

“Hurricane Sandy inflicted major damage on facilities that support the Statue of Liberty – destroying docks, crippling the energy infrastructure on Ellis Island and wiping out the security screening system – but we are fully committed to reopening this crown jewel as soon as it’s safe for visitors and not a second later,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in a press release.

The repairs to the dock where visitors disembark at Liberty Island are being funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Lands and Highways Program.

“As we rebuild the region, we will do so in a way that make New York and New Jersey stronger, safer and more resilient than ever before,” Salazar said.

By Vickie Frantz, Staff Writer