As Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) officials begin to assess the damage wreaked on the city’s public transit system by Hurricane Sandy, all services in New York City remain suspended. This includes not only the 108-year-old subway system, which experienced substantial, unprecedented flooding, but also all bus services, bridges and tunnels, as well as all Long Island Railroad, and Metro North lines. As of yesterday night, seven subway tunnels under the East River have flooded, in addition to commuter tunnels, subway stations, rail yards and bus stations.
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The public transit shutdown—which took 8 hours to complete—began on Sunday night. A statement from MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota gave no indication as to when individual services may return, as he underscored the severity of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy: “The New York City subway system is 108 years-old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region.”
As officials begin efforts to address wide-scale damage, the authority has reported that in addition to the flooding of seven East River tunnels, there is flooding in other areas of the subway system. The MTA has confirmed that the tunnel for the 1 train, between Chambers Street to South Ferry in southern Manhattan has flooded, as images are posted online of flooded stations in other areas of the city.
Amtrak services in “affected areas and along the affected routes should be considered closed” as the company assesses “necessary repairs, [to] include the removal of trees and other debris from the tracks and the overhead electrical power system, as well as track and signal repairs.” A announcement will be made later today regarding possible limited service restoration for the areas north and south of New York on Wednesday October 31st.
LaGuardia, Newark and JFK airports also remain closed, as well as Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.