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Seaport Museum Gets $10.4M in FEMA Funds Nearly 3 Years After Sandy

 The South Street Seaport Museum recently received $10.4 million in FEMA funds.
The South Street Seaport Museum recently received $10.4 million in FEMA funds.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

SOUTH STREET SEAPORT — Almost three years after Hurricane Sandy tore through the city, the South Street Seaport Museum is getting long-awaited funding to make needed repairs.

With the help of Congressman Jerrold Nadler, the museum has secured $10.4 million in federal funds through FEMA, the museum announced Thursday.

During the massive storm in October 2012, the museum was inundated with seven feet of corrosive flood water that destroyed the escalators and elevators, along with heating, electrical and air-conditioning systems. The museum has been advocating ever since to find money for reconstruction.

"We've been working for more than two years to secure funding for Sandy recovery," said Capt. Jonathan Boulware, the Museum's executive director, in a statement. "This grant is a strong step in the right direction for the Seaport Museum."

Without money for repairs, the museum's 12 Fulton St. galleries have remained shuttered. The collection, on upper floors, were unharmed, but without the necessary systems overhaul, the museum has been unable to reopen those galleries.

The museum’s other location, Bowne & Co. Stationers, a recreation of a working 19th century printing shop at 209 Water St. — which also sustained hurricane damage — was able to reopen.

Two years ago, the museum said it would need $22 million to fix all of its damages. Boulware was unavailable for comment Thursday, leaving questions of how they'd use the new funds, and how much more they'd still need, unanswered.

Since the storm, the museum has been able to reinvigorate its educational programming. It has reactivated an 1893 schooner, the Lettie G. Howard, as a sailing school, and is currently working on restoring an 1885 ship, the Wavertree, with $10.6 million in city funding.