The Statue of Liberty will reopen to the public by the Fourth of July, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Tuesday afternoon during a conference call with reporters.
The World Heritage Site was damaged during Superstorm Sandy in October and has been closed to the public since.
Hurricane Sandy is expected to rank as the second-costliest tropical cyclone on record, after Hurricane Katrina of 2005, and will probably be the sixth-costliest cyclone when adjusting for inflation, population and wealth normalization factors, the National Hurricane Center said in a report released on Tuesday afternoon.
The number of deaths caused by Sandy is estimated to be 147. In the United States, 72 deaths occurred, making Sandy the deadliest U.S. cyclone outside of the southern states since Hurricane Agnes of 1972, the report said.
Meteorologists classify hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions as tropical cyclones.
The Senate is scheduled to vote Monday on more than $50 billion in aid to Northeastern states battered by October's Superstorm Sandy, four weeks after a delay that sparked bipartisan fury.
Sandy killed at least 113 people in the United States, flooded much of Lower Manhattan and Long Island and smashed New Jersey's seaside towns when it struck October 29. Officials in New York and New Jersey, the hardest-hit states, say tens of thousands of families are still displaced or lack adequate heat in weather like the Arctic blast that swept through the region last week.FULL STORY
After days of controversy surrounding the issue, the U.S. House has approved a bill that would send more than $50 billion in aid to states affected by last fall's Superstorm Sandy.
The bill passed 241-180.
Tuesday evening's vote came two weeks after the House approved a smaller, $9.7 billion package paying for flood insurance claims. It also comes following a controversy that arose because the House leadership did not put a Sandy aid package to vote in the final day of the last Congress. That delay came amid fiscal cliff bickering and consternation over dwindling federal funds.
The bill that the House passed Tuesday will now go to the Senate.
[Updated at 2:43 p.m.] After days of controversy surrounding a canceled vote on a Superstorm Sandy aid package, the new Congress has approved part of the plan.
The U.S. House on Friday approved a $9.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package, 354-67, and the Senate gave its own approval, unanimously and without debate, in the afternoon.
Lawmakers from both houses will weigh in on $51 billion in additional Sandy aid on January 15, but that larger portion will likely face much closer scrutiny in a Congress anticipating more acrimony over spending and debt.
Frustrated victims of the massive October storm in the Northeast watched this week as a vote on a $60 billion measure was canceled just before the previous Congress wrapped up its work. Politicians from hard-hit New York and New Jersey blasted House GOP leadership for canceling the vote, until House Speaker John Boehner promised to hold the new votes this week and January 15.FULL STORY
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has assured lawmakers that the House will vote on $60 billion in aid related to Superstorm Sandy by January 15, a group of lawmakers from New York and New Jersey told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
The announcement came hours after those same lawmakers began expressing dismay that Boehner, as the 112th Congress was winding up Tuesday night, declined to put to a vote a similar aid bill that the Senate had passed.
The lawmakers met with Boehner Wednesday afternoon and then made the announcement.
"As far as I'm concerned ... it was an extremely positive" meeting, said U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-New York, who earlier Wednesday called Boehner's Tuesday move aÂ "knife in the back."
The new, 113th Congress will be sworn in on Thursday.FULL STORY
[Update 3:57 p.m.]Â U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has assured lawmakers that the House will vote on $60 billion in aid related to Superstorm Sandy by January 15, a group of lawmakers from New York and New Jersey told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
[Initial post, 2:22 p.m.] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he doesn't know why House Speaker John Boehner didn't allow a vote on a $60 billion aid package to help Superstorm Sandy victims Tuesday or Wednesday, but he's steamed about it.
"There's only one group to blame for the continued suffering" of Sandy victims, and that's Boehner and the House Republican leadership, Christie told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
â€śShame on you. Shame on Congress,â€ť Christie, a Republican, said.
The talk in Washington is all about the "fiscal cliff" and what the president and Congress need to do to avoid it.Â Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the fiscal cliff debate.
Today's programming highlights...
10:00 am ET - Lessons from Hurricane Sandy hearing - Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, and now the federal government is taking a look at how the country prepared, responded and recovered from the storm.Â The House Transportation Committee holds a hearing on the issue.
The U.S. death toll from Superstorm Sandy has jumped again.
It is now at least 113. Â The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner raised that city's death toll today to 43.
A 77 year-old man from the Far Rockaway neighborhood in Queens fell down a flight of stairs November 6 and later died at a hospital, the examiner's office said. Â Also, a 66 year-old man was found in his Staten Island home on Friday - 11 days after the storm. Â He had drowned.
The death toll for the city includes one police officer; another 78 were injured in the line of duty, New York police said.
Low nighttime temperatures over the next couple of days arenâ€™t going to make things easy for East Coast residents still without power after Superstorm Sandy and this weekâ€™s norâ€™easter.
But warmer daytime conditions will be ideal for recovery crews, including utility workers hoping to get many more homes powered and heated by this weekend.
Editor's note: A nor'easter has been hitting parts of the U.S. Northeast with heavy snow and strong winds since yesterday, cruelly complicating recovery efforts from last week's Superstorm Sandy and interrupting power for some weary residents who had just gotten it restored.
[Updated at 7:18 p.m. ET] A resident of Tom's River, a New Jersey community hard-hit by Sandy last week, tells CNN that the nor'easter's 5 to 7 inches of snow this week made things more difficult for people in the area.
Keith Paul said he's fortunate that his house still is standing, because homes a block away were toppled. His home hasn't had power since last week, and while a neighbor let him use a generator, this week's nor'easter complicated things.
New York City and Long Island officials have ordered a temporary gasoline-rationing system - starting Friday morning - in which people there can buy fuel only on certain days, depending on their license-plate numbers.
The moves, designed to reduce wait times and lines at gas stations in the area, come more than a week after Superstorm Sandy damaged petroleum infrastructure in the region and made it difficult for people to get fuel for their vehicles, especially because many gas stations were without power for days.
President Obama won a second term in office this week, and will be inaugurated in January.Â Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage on all things politics.
Today's programming highlights...
Continuing coverage - Nor'easter briefings and updates
8:30 am ET - ECB interest rate briefing - Europe continues to struggle with economic problems, and the European Central Bank must make a decision on interest rates today.Â The ECB president will discuss the bank's decision at a news conference.
CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.
[Updated at 8:46 p.m.] A wintry mix of heavy rain, wind and snow hitting the weary East Coast a week after Superstorm Sandy prompted a cancellation of hundreds of flights in the New York and Philadelphia regions.
More than 780 flights have been canceled in the New York City area's three major airports, said Chris Valens, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Still, the airports were open, "and we expect that they will stay open," Valens said.
As a Nor'easter hones in on the Northeastern coast, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a message for residents already struggling with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy: Get off the road.
The storm is expected to begin pounding the New York area around midday and will bring frigid temperatures, high winds, storm surges and an inch or so of rain to many towns that are still without power, still flooded, or are finally just getting back to normal after Sandy roared through.
The Holland Tunnel linking New York and New Jersey will reopen at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, the governors of the two states said Tuesday in a joint press release.
The tunnel (pictured), which carries some 91,000 vehicles a day, closed October 29 ahead of Superstorm Sandy.
The tunnel has been open to limited bus traffic since Friday.FULL STORY
Construction work has started again at ground zero, site of the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11, which was flooded by Superstorm Sandy.
About 750 workers are back at it, now that more than 95% of the storm surge at the 16-acre site has been pumped out, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
Editor's note: Six days after Sandy slammed into the U.S. East Coast, the storm's U.S. death toll continues to rise - reaching 110 on Sunday, in addition to two killed by the storm in Canada and 67 in the Caribbean. Click here to read more about the recovery effort.
[Updated at 9:47 p.m.] "The operation to secure the boom of the tower crane on West 57th Street is complete," said Tony Sciafani, spokesman for New York's Department of Buildings. Six days ago, high winds from Sandy left it dangling and spurred fears it could fall. But now, "all buildings in the vicinity can be reoccupied," said Sciafini.
This photo shows the crane as it appeared Saturday, when efforts to secure it were already well underway:
Editor's note: Promises of help to those affected by Superstorm Sandy became more specific Saturday, as officials got a better grip on how to overcome power and fuel shortages. Facing a backlash over initial plans to run the New York City Marathon as scheduled, officials canceled the event. Here is theÂ full story and below is the latest news.
[Update at 3:50 a.m.] The number of customers without power dropped to 2.68 million, according to utility companies in 15 states and the District of Columbia
[Update at 10:59 p.m.] Remembering some of those tragically killed - young kids and their parents, alike - by Superstorm Sandy:
[Updated at 10:51 p.m.] President Barack Obama will helm a meeting Saturday morning involving several members of his Cabinet - including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Energy Secretary Steven Chu - and the governors of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, a White House official said.
Top administration members will spend the day in some of the hardest-hit areas, according to the official. Napolitano will to go West Virginia and Long Island, New York; Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will visit Brooklyn and Manhattan; Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills will head to Norwalk and Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan will be in the Rockaways and Breeze Point, New York. Homeland Security adviser John Brennan, meanwhile, will be among the federal officials in Staten Island, New York, as well as the New Jersey cities of Hoboken, Newark and Jersey City.
Editor's note: The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy focused Thursday on a search for the missing and restoration of power. The storm's overall death toll stood at 161, including at least 92 people in the United States, two in Canada and 67 in the Caribbean.
[Updated at 4:30 a.m.] The New York Police Department said early Friday morning that the death toll from the storm had gone up four more to 41 in New York City.