After Sandy Repairs, Statue Of Liberty Reopens On Fourth Of July - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

After Superstorm Sandy Repairs, Lady Liberty Reopens On Fourth Of July

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The statue has been closed since Superstorm Sandy swamped its island in New York Harbor last October. [CBS photo] The statue has been closed since Superstorm Sandy swamped its island in New York Harbor last October. [CBS photo]
NEW YORK -

A North Carolina man says the Fourth of July is "perfect timing" for the reopening of the Statue of Liberty. Rodney Long says, "It's really a symbol for what the country is all about."

He and his wife Judy were the first people in line for the boat this morning to Liberty Island, where there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony with federal officials and New York's mayor. The Longs couldn't get tickets to climb to the top of the statue, but said they were just glad to be there for the reopening.

The statue has been closed since Superstorm Sandy swamped its island in New York Harbor last October.

A Brooklyn couple brought their three kids to the island today -- figuring it would be a fitting way to celebrate today's sixth birthday of one of their daughters. Heather Leykam, whose mother's home was destroyed during the storm, says Liberty Island "is really about a rebirth." She calls it "a sense of renewal for the city and the country."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials presided over a celebratory ribbon-cutting Thursday to mark the reopening of the national landmark.

Sandy made landfall one day after the statue's 126th birthday. The storm flooded most of Liberty Island and neighboring Ellis Island. Lady Liberty herself was spared, but the surrounding grounds took a beating.

Railings broke, docks and paving stones were torn up and buildings were flooded. The storm destroyed boilers, sewage pumps and electrical systems.

The national landmark welcomes about 3.5 million visitors every year.

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