Recovering from Hurricane Sandy

The High Line remains closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
 

Today, many public parks in New York City are reopening after unprecedented closures following Hurricane Sandy. We are very eager to reopen the High Line, but there is important work we must first do to ensure it is safe and ready for visitors.

Follow us after the jump to learn more and view photos.

The High Line and our offices are located within Zone A, which is still under an evacuation order by the City of New York, and the park is currently without power due to the massive outages caused by the storm. The utilities required to operate the High Line’s gates, elevators, lights, emergency phones, plumbing, and mechanical systems – all of which are necessary to ensure the safety and comfort of park visitors – come to the High Line via several underground vaults which, unfortunately, sustained major damage from saltwater flooding during Hurricane Sandy.

We are so fortunate that the High Line’s plantings, design features, and artworks are in such great shape following the storm. Now that Con Edison has restored power to our area, and we are nearly finished pumping flood waters from the vaults, we are working closely with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to determine the extent of the water damage in the vaults and prepare the High Line for reopening.

We thank our supporters for helping us face these challenges and care for the High Line’s infrastructure. To help get the park open as quickly as we can, we will continue to count on our dedicated members and friends. If you're able and wish to support our clean-up efforts, you can make a contribution.

We look forward to reopening the park in the days ahead. We appreciate your patience and support during this difficult time.

Please check back for updates, or follow @highlinenyc on Twitter for more news and photos.

A view of West Chelsea during the storm, with flood waters visible below the High Line. Photo by Katya Valevich
 
As Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Monday night, waters from the Hudson River surged over the riverbank and spread to 10th Avenue below the High Line, as you can see in this image of the avenue’s intersection at West 23rd Street.Photo by Katya Valevich
 
The park's underground utility vaults were filled with salt water, as were many other basements and sub-grade utility rooms throughout the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea. The impact of the flooding has yet to be determined. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
Now that Con Edison has restored power to our area, and we are nearly finished pumping flood waters from the vaults, we are able to enter the vaults to assess the water damage. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
The utilities required to operate the High Line’s gates, elevators, lights, emergency phones, plumbing, and mechanical systems – all of which are necessary to ensure the safety and comfort of park visitors – comes to the High Line via several underground vaults which, unfortunately, sustained major damage from saltwater flooding during the storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
The utility connections within the vaults sustained major damage from saltwater flooding during the storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
After the storm passed midweek, we were able to pump out the saltwater from the vaults.
 
We were relieved to see that the High Line’s landscape sustained minimal damage during the storm. All along the park there is loose debris and fallen leaves, but the plantings are mostly intact and healthy. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
Most of the park’s trees are intact. Pictured here is one of the sumacs along the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck, which we tethered to the park’s railing for the duration of the storm. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
There are exceptions, like this felled big leaf magnolia tree near West 26th Street. The young tree was knocked over by the hurricane’s wind gusts.
 
We are grateful that the park’s artworks were unharmed by Hurricane Sandy. Pictured here is Francis Upritchard’s The Seduction, a bronze sculpture of two monkeys, frozen in an embrace. This was one of our new High Line Art Commission to debut this year. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
Now that the storm has passed, we are busily working to prepare the park for reopening. Part of this work includes an inspection of the park to determine it is safe for visitors. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
Power is required to operate the gates and elevators at the park’s access points. Now that the storm has passed, we are assessing damage to these systems and working on a plan to reopen the park as soon as possible. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
Before the storm arrived in New York City, we secured loose material and equipment within our storage areas. In preparation for the park reopening, we are now working on unpacking and readying the equipment for daily park operations. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
We are unpacking the chairs and café tables in preparation for the park reopening soon. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
Cleaning up our storage area after the storm. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
We are working as quickly as possible to reopen the park to visitors. We appreciate your patience and support during this difficult time. Photo by Melissa Mansur
 
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