We’ve been hearing all day that this the most devastating disaster the MTA has ever experience. On Sunday, the subway celebrated its 108th birthday. Never, ever have the tunnels flooded like they did after Hurricane Sandy. It will be days, probably at least a week before service is back underground, and even then, who knows before everything returns to normal. But we will return, as MTA CEO and chairman Joe Lhota made clear in a rousing statement earlier tonight.
The extent of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation became clear today, and its impact on the MTA system is severe. The New York City subway’s South Ferry station was flooded up to the ceiling. The Long Island Rail Road confronted 11 electrical substations in a row with no power. Metro-North Railroad crews found a boat across their tracks in Ossining. Each tube of the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel is filled with 43 million gallons of water.These are just a few of the many unprecedented challenges the MTA is facing as it tries to restore service. Our employees have been assessing the damage all day and will continue to work through the night. In many places, they have been able to begin the process of recovery by pumping water and clearing tracks. New York City buses went back on the road for limited service, and will be almost at normal strength by morning.Still, our dedicated employees are beginning to make progress. By midday tomorrow, we will be able to discuss a timetable for service restorations.”