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Q&A: Statue of Liberty has weathered numerous storms

Statue stands strong in storms

Has the Statue of Liberty ever suffered significant damage from a storm?

The Statue of Liberty, which celebrated its 126th birthday Oct. 28, has never suffered severe damage from storms or other weather events, historian Barry Moreno, who wrote The Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia, told accuweather.com. A blizzard blew snow through the statue's windows in 1888, which covered stairs, and its torch was extinguished by a summer storm in 1933. The statue was unscathed by the Great New England Hurricane in 1938 that killed between 700 and 800 people and caused $308 million in damage in New York and New England.

The Statue of Liberty is struck by lightning several times a year and can sway up to 3 inches in wind. Its torch can move 6 inches in heavy wind, according to the National Park Service. The Statue of Liberty reopened on its anniversary after a yearlong $30 million interior renovation, but was closed due to Hurricane Sandy the next two days.

"She's been here for 126 years. She'll be here after this one," superintendent David Luchsinger told the New York Post.

Sizing up Medicare premiums

I hear the Medicare premium will increase on Jan. 1. What will the new premium be?

Average monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage will increase to $32.59 next year, a rise of $1.47, and the premiums of lower-priced Medicare plans will increase 57 cents a month in 2013, the Associated Press reported.

Nearly 1.5 million more seniors are expected to join Medicare Advantage plans next year, boosting enrollment to 14.5 million, the AP reported. Medicare Advantage is a private insurance option that's a part of Medicare. The story also warned: "The estimates are averages, so they don't reflect individual experiences. Some beneficiaries will see their premiums and cost sharing go up; others will see a decrease."

Medicare reported earlier this year that prescription drug premiums would remain stable for the third year in a row, about $30 a month.

TSA rules vary by age

On a trip this summer, we were told if you were born before a certain year, you didn't have to take your shoes off. What is the year?

People who are 75 and older don't have to remove their shoes and can keep light jackets on while going through security checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration decided earlier this year. The changes also reduced — but didn't eliminate — the need for a physical patdown by security for travelers in this age group, according to tsa.gov. If a person who is 75 or older triggers an alarm, they "will be advised to take their shoes off during the next security screening pass. All alarms must be resolved."

Last year, the TSA decided that children under the age of 12 didn't have to remove their shoes as part of "overarching risk-based security methodology."

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Q&A: Statue of Liberty has weathered numerous storms 11/21/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 5:54pm]

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