Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc along the East Coast this week, damaging homes, ripping up trees, and knocking out power all along her path. But her destruction was not limited to urban and residential areas. Sandy also caused damage to our nation's park system, causing park closures or partial closures all along the eastern corridor.
As of this writing, 69 National Park Service locations have been closed or partially cordoned off due to damage from Hurricane Sandy.
The electrical and mechanical systems at Ellis Island National Monument, home of the Statue of Liberty, are under water. Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty actually resides, may have lost all of its high-voltage equipment.
The other national parks in New York Harbor, including Federal Hall National Monument, General Grant National Memorial, Hamilton Grange National Memorial, St. Paul's Church National Historic Site, Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site, Gateway National Recreation Area and Governors Island National Monument suffered extensive flooding, and that was especially true of Manhattan's Battery Park, home of Castle Clinton National Monument.
Fire Island National Seashore reported heavy flooding with some buildings filled with two to three feet of water.
In New Jersey, Morristown National Historical Park (pictured above) is closed with hundreds of trees reported down.
Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania has reported downed trees, debris and park-wide power outages.
In the D.C. area, National Capital Region parks were closed through today, and many will remain so for the next several days as park officials have warned of possible flooding over the next week from rising water levels in rivers and streams.
Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Island National Wildlife Refuge, along the coast of Maryland and Virginia, reported flooding, downed trees and heavily damaged campsites.
In my neck of the woods, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia saw downed trees and snow. The park's Skyline Drive is still closed, but park officials hope to reopen sometime on Friday.
New River Gorge in West Virginia saw widespread power outages and as much as two feet of snow, with even more in the coming forecast.
North Carolina's Cape Lookout National Seashore reported heavy flooding. This picture shows the park's boat basin and Island Road taken after high tide on Monday.
Florida's Biscayne Bay National Park also remains closed. This picture shows finger docks that were ripped from their foundations at Elliott Key Harbor.
More than 100 national park employees are being deployed to the hardest hit areas, with a focus on northern New Jersey and harbor parks in New York City.
Morristown National Historic Park: NPS photo
Statue of Liberty during Hurricane Sandy: wck/Flickr.com
Cape Lookout National Seashore: NPS photo
Biscayne Bay National Park: NPS photo