In the unfinished museum, the water rose as high as 8 feet.
A historic, man-made disaster had come face to face with a new, natural catastrophe.
And yet, on the eve of the reopening, Daniels glanced across the waterfalls and reflecting pools set within the footprints of the twin towers as the sun set over lower Manhattan with "a feeling of strength; that's what this place is about — strength and resilience."
It had taken about a week to drain the floodwaters — as high as 10 feet in places — from the 16-acre site. Work was completed by Monday afternoon, using five huge pumps that sucked up tens of millions of gallons of water, officials said.
The memorial reopened at 10 a.m. Tuesday, closing at 4 p.m. until full power is restored to the World Trade Center site, Daniels said. Some areas, including the visitor center, still rely on generators.