When Hurricane Sandy hit Coney Island, very little was spared, and the iconic Wonder Wheel was no exception–its computer and motor were completely submerged in a tidal surge, and its cars, which had been detached, were found dunked in three feet of seawater. But this week, just two short weeks after the storm made landfall, the 93-year-old wheel made its first rotation, as owners made the first rounds of tests before getting it back up and running. For his part, Steve Vourderis, owner of the park that operates the wheel, never had any doubts. “If I had to get the Wonder Wheel going in two weeks, we would do it,” he said. “It’s fully operational.”
The park suffered $3 million in total damages, according to Vouderis, but he’s confident it will be ready to open come springtime.