NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The MTA announced Thursday that it was preparing for potential service changes in anticipation of Hurricane Earl’s impact on the area. The MTA said they were “closely monitoring the storm” and would “work hard to ensure that customers get where they need to go.” The service changes are for Long Island’s east end. The rest of the network was expected to run normally.
Long Island Rail Road Service Changes
MTA Long Island Rail Road will suspend train service east of Speonk on the Montauk Branch and east of Ronkonkoma on the Main Line, which normally takes customers to Greenport and Long Island’s North Fork. LIRR service west of Ronkonkoma and west of Speonk will operate on a normal schedule.
The last train traveling west to Penn Station is scheduled to leave Montauk at 5:39 AM and arrive at Penn Station at 8:32 AM. The last train leaving New York for Montauk is scheduled to depart from Penn Station at 12:39 AM Friday morning and arrive in Montauk at 3:57 AM. The last westbound train will leave Greenport at 5:30 AM Friday morning. The LIRR will assess any storm related damage late Friday night before deciding on when service can resume on Saturday.
Eight early getaway trains between 2:02 PM and 3:48 PM scheduled from Penn Station heading east on Friday will continue to operate to Babylon, Great Neck, Far Rockaway, Hicksville and Huntington.
NYC Transit, MTA Bus, Long Island Bus
Service on subways and buses is expected to remain normal but delays, disruptions and the rerouting of buses are possible if there is flooding underground and on city streets. Customers are urged to use caution, especially on stairs, outdoor platforms and at bus shelters.
The potential for service disruptions caused by flooding during periods of sustained heavy rains does exist so New York City Transit maintains three pump trains capable of pumping 300 gallons of water from the system every minute. The Track and Infrastructure Division also has a fleet of portable pumps, some with a pumping capacity of 600 gallons per minute. Crews will also be dispatched to cover sidewalk vent gratings in areas that are prone to flooding.
Inspections of the system’s drains and culverts have already begun to make certain that they are clear and free of debris. Transit workers will also survey outdoor train lines and construction areas to identify and secure any loose materials.
Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road Preparedness
The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad are working closely with emergency officials on hurricane contingency plans. The railroads have mobilized their maintenance of way employees, gathering teams to respond to fallen trees, downed power lines, clogged culverts, mudslides, and washouts. In preparation for the storm, both railroads are ensuring that all equipment necessary to deal with the effects of the storm are ready to go – chain saws for clearing downed trees, pumps for flooded areas, and identifying locations and availability of replacement supplies for replacing damaged utility poles and crossing gates. Vehicle fuel tanks have been topped-off and generators are being tested and fueled.
MTA Bridges & Tunnels
MTA Bridges and Tunnels is part of the city’s Office of Emergency Management preparedness team and is involved in daily preparations and updates as the storm gets closer. B&T staff are readying equipment and working with contractors at our seven bridges and two tunnels, making sure that all work sites and equipment are secure in case of high winds.
Bridges and Tunnels personnel are also checking all storm drains at our facilities to ensure that they are free of debris. Wind restrictions will be in place at various B&T facilities if winds gusts rise to between 30 (wet conditions) and 39 m.p.h. (dry conditions), and motorists will be asked to reduce speeds. If winds reach 49 m.p.h., certain vehicles, including box trucks, step vans, and motorcycles would be banned.
The MTA urges all customers to give themselves extra travel time whenever there is inclement weather. Customers should visit the MTA’s website, http://www.mta.info, and monitor news media and traffic and transit reports for updated information on storm-related service. We also urge customers to sign up for email alerts by visiting MyMTAAlerts.com to begin receiving real-time status updates about your subway, bus, rail and/or bridge and tunnel route.