USS The Sullivans to receive $7.5 million for repairs
The Buffalo News December 21, 2022
(Tribune News Service) — Christmas is coming early for an embattled World War II destroyer at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.
In April, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer visited Buffalo and promised federal support for the sinking USS The Sullivans, which took on water for two weeks as emergency crews from across the country scrambled to clean up debris, pump out water and plug holes with epoxy.
On Tuesday, Schumer confirmed that $7.5 million would be allocated to saving the USS The Sullivans from the $1.7 trillion omnibus — a government spending bill — if it passes, expected at the end of the week. Schumer announced in July that the money would be part of the federal budget, but several levels of approval remained.
Schumer said that the story behind the ship's name has remained fresh in his mind even eight months since his visit.
"The story of the family sticks in your heart, even though I never met them," Schumer said Wednesday, referring to the five Sullivan brothers who died in action aboard the USS Juneau during World War II.
During his visit to the ship, Schumer said several Buffalonians stopped him to pass along a general message: "Saving this ship is far more important than people think."
USS The Sullivans was righted in the first week of May, after roughly 600,000 gallons of water were pumped from its hull, the Buffalo sector of the U.S. Coast Guard said. The Sullivans is joined by the USS Croaker and USS Little Rock as the three ships that serve as the park's biggest attractions. The park opened to the public on Memorial Day weekend, but The Sullivans remained closed to all visitors through the end of the season.
But all has not been quiet at the naval park. In early December, Ocean Technical Services and its owner Joseph Lombardi began surveying the condition of The Sullivans' hull in order to advise repairs, according to the naval park's monthly newsletter.
And to prevent a recurrence of April's disaster, the naval park is working on a flood alarm system to more quickly notify emergency crews should another major breach occur, the newsletter added.
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