(NEW YORK) – New York’s famous Coney Island amusement area opened on Sunday for the first time since the region was devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
The park reopening is another milestone for the city’s recovery efforts. Palm Sunday is traditionally the start of the amusement park’s season, but there were doubts if repairs would be done in time this year.
Director of Operations for the Alliance for Coney Island Johanna Zaki says it shows how strong New Yorkers are.
“The message is that we’re resilient. We’re resilient New Yorkers and Sandy isn’t gonna keep us down.”
The Wonder Wheel, which sustained significant damage during the storm, is giving free rides to park attendees today. The owner told ABC News that it’s their way of saying thank you to New York and a way of celebrating.
The park isn’t operating at 100 percent just yet though. Notably, the original Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs location, which traditionally hosts a hotdog eating contest every Fourth of July, is still under repairs. A satellite restaurant is open, though.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Deirdre Walsh and Eugene Scott, CNN
Aaron Cooper and Bryce Urbany, CNN Newswire