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NEW YORK 4 Jul 2013 Statue of Liberty opens for Independence Day

The Statue of Liberty on Staten Island in New York Harbor reopens symbolically on Jul 4, Independence Day, following extensive repairs

July 4, 2013 - NULL

NEW YORK 4 Jul 2013 Statue of Liberty opens for Independence Day

The Statue of Liberty on Staten Island in New York Harbor reopens symbolically on Jul 4, Independence Day, following extensive repairs. Hurricane Sandy, one of the country's costliest natural disasters, battered the island, along with much of the east coast and Caribbean, on 29 Oct 2012. The swell of water destroyed the infrastructure of 12-acre Liberty Island but spared the statue, which stands 151-foot from heavily-damaged base to torch. The reopening invites a look at where the drama fits in the almost 127-year saga

NEW YORK 4 Jul 2013 Statue of Liberty opens for Independence Day

The Statue of Liberty on Staten Island in New York Harbor reopens symbolically on Jul 4, Independence Day, following extensive repairs. Hurricane Sandy, one of the country's costliest natural disasters, battered the island, along with much of the east coast and Caribbean, on 29 Oct 2012. The swell of water destroyed the infrastructure of 12-acre Liberty Island but spared the statue, which stands 151-foot from heavily-damaged base to torch. The reopening invites a look at where the drama fits in the almost 127-year saga of the statue, and also at where the reopening fits in the wider Sandy recovery story. Nine months on, some areas might still be saying, what recovery?

The watery assault was the latest in a series of dramas for the statue, one of the nation's biggest tourist draws. According to the National Park Service, 3.7 million people visited it in 2011. Sandy arrived one day after the statue's 126th birthday and the reopening of the crown, which had been closed for a year for a US $30 million upgrade to fire alarms, sprinkler systems and exit routes. After the Sep 11, 2001, attacks, the statue was closed to the public for security reasons. It remained closed until 2004, but it wasn't until 4 Jul 2009 that visitors could again climb the narrow stairs to the crown for a view of the harbor. The crown was closed again in 2011 for upgrades to the security system and reopened in Oct 2012, just one day before Sandy swept in and forced its closure.

The storm reached 900 miles wide, carried winds speeds of more than 90 mph, caused billions of dollars in damage and claimed at least 55 lives. The devastation was so vast that a comprehensive assessment might be as distant as full normalcy for the region. Federal relief dollars have been slow in coming, in many cases because of the complexities of assessing and costing-out the damage. Flood policyholders and insurance companies typically dispute one of two things -- what is covered by the policy and how it should be priced. The world's oldest insurance market, Lloyd's of London, has said the resulting claim of US $2.2bn from the storm was one of the largest in its 325-year history.

The New Jersey Journal reported on Mar 28 that the American Arbitration Association has been picked to administer a mediation program for disputed Hurricane Sandy insurance claims. Mediation is intended to give policyholders and insurance companies a low-cost alternative to the courts when settling disagreements over Sandy claims. (WRITTEN MAR 2013)

TAGS: Statue of Liberty, reopens, reopening, July 2013, July 4th, Independence Day, icon of freedom, Hurricane Sandy damage, Superstorm Sandy damage, National Park Service, tourists, crown, security system, federal relief dollars, insurance, claims, assessments, Lloyd's of London, Staten Island, disasters, disaster news, July 4th news, New York, United States, Americas

RELATED READING:

Statue of Liberty to Re-Open on July 4, 2013 (NPR 19 Mar 2013)

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/19/174764598/statue-of-liberty-will-reopen-july-4th-says-parks-service

FEMA

http://www.fema.gov/hurricane-sandy

$2.7B in insurance payments doled out in N.J. since Sandy (NJ.com 12 Mar 2013)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/27b_in_insurance_payments_dole.html

Administrator tapped for N.J.'s Hurricane Sandy insurance mediation program (NJ.com 28 Mar 2013)

http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/03/administrator_picked_for_njs_h.html

Lloyd's of London in profit despite Superstorm Sandy (BBC 27 Mar 2013)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21951157

Date written/update: 2013-07-04