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MTA: Subway System Not At Risk Of Flooding From Heavy Downpours

New Pumps Have Been Installed And Are Ready To Use
MTA employees using a pump train worked around the clock to pump seawater out of the L train's tunnel under the East River on Nov. 5, 2012. (credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin)

MTA employees using a pump train worked around the clock to pump seawater out of the L train’s tunnel under the East River on Nov. 5, 2012. (credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Powerful rainstorms sprang up across the region Monday, creating flash flooding conditions in some spots.

But for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, there are no concerns about any possible flooding in the city’s subway system.

“Storms like this we normally handle fairly well. I mean, a few years back we had a torrential downpour and I think there were problems. But since then we’ve down an awful lot to make sure that all of catch basins are clean, all of our subway gratings are clean and this should not present a problem at all,” MTA chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.

Prendergast added new pumps have been installed and are ready for use if needed.

Following a partial shutdown of the subway by a sudden downpour in 2007, the MTA undertook what it called “Operation Submarine.”

“A number of the vent gratings where fresh air is brought into the system were actually raised to prevent water from forming on the street and then flowing into the stations. Some of our staircases – where a lot water does enter through the staircases on the stations – we have raised the first steps,” MTA spokesman Charles Seaton told Lamb.

He added when a big storm is approaching, all the pumps are tested and the catch basins are cleared.

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The subway system was also crippled for weeks after superstorm Sandy hit. Many underground tubes were flooded and the infrastructure was badly damaged.

On a dry day, the transit authority pumps 18 million gallons of water from the system, Lamb reported.

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