The MTA provided the following information and advice regarding Hurricane Irene.
Subway, bus and rail service remains suspended as Hurricane Irene makes its way through the region. Do not attempt to travel on the MTA’s public transportation network until further notice. Suspensions and restrictions are also in place at MTA bridges and tunnels (see service status at mta.info).
The process of assessing the damage from the storm cannot safely begin until the storm passes locations around the MTA’s 5,000-square-mile territory. Thousands of personnel and the necessary equipment have been positioned at key locations so that workers can begin this process as soon as conditions allow. In addition, Governor Cuomo has directed the National Guard to assist in the recovery efforts and helicopters will be provided to quickly assess damage.
There are already reports of flooding and down trees across the region, and the storm surge and heavy rains may cause additional widespread flooding, mudslides, washouts, fallen trees and downed power lines that wreak havoc on the MTA’s signals, tracks, stations, under-river tunnels, catenary wires and other infrastructure. Restoration of service will be implemented as quickly as possible without compromising the safety of our customers, employees or equipment, but it is expected to be a lengthy process that will begin with damage assessment and could include significant repairs.
Important: The subway, LIRR and Metro-North all use electrified third rail and even though passenger service has been suspended, track cars and equipment trains may be moving on the rails at some point before service is restored. No one should assume that the third rail is deactivated. Stay off tracks and away from third rail at all times.