NEW YORK – The National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum reopened Tuesday in Lower Manhattan, but planned to close again Wednesday temporarily along with city parks as a precaution against high winds from a coming Nor'easter.
The memorial's reopening Tuesday left just a few major New York City landmarks — including the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island — closed indefinitely to visitors in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.
However, the expected Nor'easter was forcing a new round of temporary precautionary closures, with city parks and zoos — which just reopened Saturday following Sandy — now scheduled to shut again Wednesday at noon. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the closures were in anticipation of potentially high winds. A spokesman for the Sept. 11 memorial said the World Trade Center park would close as well Wednesday.
The High Line, which reopened Monday following a Sandy-related closure, also planned to close Wednesday at noon because of the Nor'easter.
The good news at the 9/11 memorial, however, was that the reflective fountains, ringed by the names of those who died in the terrorist attacks, were undamaged by Sandy. The memorial's so-called survivor tree, which survived the 2001 attacks as well, also was not harmed by Sandy. However, full power has not yet been restored to the memorial site, with some areas, including the visitor center, still relying on generators.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, meanwhile, remain closed to visitors while damage assessment and repairs continue. The New York Aquarium in Coney Island, Brooklyn, is also closed due to storm damage.
Major museums have reopened, including downtown sites such as the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, which is located on the Battery. Broadway theaters and the Empire State Building reopened last week.
Carnegie Hall, which had canceled or postponed all performances since Oct. 28, was expected to reopen Wednesday. The concert hall sits on West 57th Street where a crane left dangling by the storm's winds caused street closures.
The Staten Island Ferry was running on a normal schedule and most subway service, including the AirTrain JFK, was back.