The New York Aquarium in Coney Island will be partially up and running come late spring, after months of rebuilding from the mighty blow of Hurricane Sandy. The storm caused roughly $65 million in damages and left devastating realities for the aquarium; many of its fish were found dead, and knocked out backup power made it impossible for staff members to check on exhibits for days. Plans to expand the site with a focus on floodproofing are in the works.

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The original facility didn’t stand a chance against the wrath of the super storm; the aquarium’s basements were under 15 feet of water, a floor was completely torn out of a building, and systems to treat seawater and maintain oxygen levels and temperatures in the water for the 12,000 animals were completely out of commission. According to the Daily News, managers contemplated shipping animals away and wondered whether the institution itself could survive on its spot on Coney Island.

“We want to be here, and we also want to be able to talk to the community about what we did, how we handled this, and how the city of New York can start to look toward the future of living in this coastal environment,” aquarium Director Jon Forrest Dohlin told the Daily News.

Now, with more than 80 percent of the collection intact, the aquarium plans to reopen at an unspecified date later this spring. Visitors will again be able to enjoy watching walruses, otters and other animals. The rest of the exhibits are set to open in 2016, including the brand new $120 million shark exhibit  that will be housed in a building raised several feet higher to meet new flood-zone predictions.

Via Daily News