Coney Island reopens after Hurricane Sandy devastation

March 28, 2013

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Last Sunday, Coney Island reopened its gates for the first time since the devastation of Hurricane Sandy less than six months ago.

At Luna Park, one of Coney Island’s most iconic attractions, most of the rides had electrical and motor systems overhauled because of extensive damage from massive flooding and sand infiltration. The electrical boxes and wiring had to be replaced in all of the 21 rides in Luna Park.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is pleased with the success of the repairs. Markowitz spoke at the opening on Sunday, which had the annual egg-cream christening of the Cyclone, after which the first 100 patrons were given free rides on the coaster.

“In the days following the devastation, it was hard to imagine when ‘America’s Playground’ would ever get back on its feet, but here we are only five months later, heralding another spectacular season of affordable, family-friendly fun and sun,” Markowitz said.

Markowitz is also extremely proud of the Brooklyn community and local agencies’ camaraderie since the superstorm.

“The ongoing relief effort is a wonderful example of Brooklynites helping Brooklynites,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud that my office, along with the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and founding contributors the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets and Forest City Ratner, is providing such a critical lifeline to help Brooklyn rebuild, rebound, recover and come back bigger and better than ever.”

Other opening day events included the qualifying round of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, which will hold its final on July 4.

However, a few of Coney Island’s famous attractions are still shuttered, such as the New York Aquarium and the original Nathan’s Famous site. They plan to reopen later in the spring.

Steinhardt freshman Sarah Hafele is extremely grateful for Coney Island’s successful repairs.

“One of my favorite memories growing up was coming to Coney Island with my mom every summer. When I found out about the aftermath of Sandy I was devastated,” Hafele said, “Now that it’s reopened I’m looking forward to keeping the tradition alive this summer.”

Fay Lin is a contributing writer. Email her at cstate@nyu.edu.

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