With rain on the way, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is taking extra steps now to prevent Wednesday’s fiasco from re-occurring, like moving portable pumps throughout the subway system, readying extra buses and deploying more staff to guide confused riders.
But it sounds like there is only so much that can be done.
Only one portable pump, for example, was put into use on Wednesday because there was only one place where it could be used, according to Mike Lombardi, the head of subway operations for New York City Transit.
“We used portable pumps at one location yesterday, it was at Parsons Boulevard,” he said at a press briefing today. “You can hang the gasoline-operated pumps over the sides of the station and get right down into the water. It’s impossible to use them any place else because they don’t really fit into the pump rooms… The only opportunity we could use them was at Parsons Boulevard because in the other areas, the water rose up and the pumps were pumping them out but the water came in faster than the pumps could pump them.”