NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Queens community still reeling from superstorm Sandy now has one of its most treasured gathering places back.

“Two foot of water came through, destroyed all the books,” Dan Mundy, president of the Broad Channel Civic Association, told WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman of the damage at the Queens Library in Broad Channel.

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16,000 books were destroyed.

“The walls, the floors, everything,” Mundy added.

The electronics and the furniture were also wiped out.

But today, you’d never know it.

“We are in Broad Channel, a resilient community that, like the phoenix, has risen from the ashes,” said City Councilman Eric Ulrich.

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“The happiness is inside of me and that’s what makes me happy,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall on Wednesday.

Kayla is a fourth grader at P.S. 47 right up the street.

“When I needed help with, like, social studies, I always came here,” she said.

“It’s quiet. So, this is really where I read most of the time and I like that it’s free,” said P.S. 47 fourth grader Annie.

“It sets a tone and it’s uplifting,” said Mundy.

The Broad Channel branch is the first of four wrecked libraries that will reopen.

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“And these beautiful children, seniors, adults, everyone coming to enjoy the library, that is an American custom,” Marshall said.