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Interior secretary says Statue of Liberty, closed since Superstorm Sandy, to reopen by July 4

The Statue of Liberty is scheduled to reopen by Independence Day, about eight months after it was closed because of Superstorm Sandy.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar made the announcement Tuesday along with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.

The statue itself was spared damage from the late October storm, but Liberty Island, where the statue sits, was badly damaged. Railings broke, paving stones were torn up and buildings were flooded. The storm also destroyed boilers, sewage pumps and electrical systems on the island.

Officials have estimated that as much as three-fourths of Liberty Island's 12 acres was flooded, with water reaching as high as 8 feet.

Sandy came one day after the Statue of Liberty's 126th birthday and the reopening of the crown after a yearlong, $30 million upgrade.

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