MTA Prepares for NYC Subway Shutdown During Hurricane Sandy

Buses, bridges, tunnels and commuter railroads could also be affected, MTA officials warn.

The MTA is warning passengers that it may shut-down subways and buses when Hurricane Sandy hits New York City next week. Bridges, tunnels and commuter railroads could also be affected.

The storm is predicted to strike the East Coast late Monday with sustained winds in the New York City area of 40 to 50 miles per hour and the possibility of gusts as strong as 70 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

The MTA Hurricane Plan calls for service to be suspended in the case of sustained winds of 39 mph or higher. Officials said they would monitor the storm closely and provide “ample notice” on the MTA website before shutting down any lines.

“Our first priority is always safety, and the MTA is taking no chances with the safety of our customers, our employees and our equipment,” MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota said in a news release. “We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Whatever happens, we’ll be ready.”

The last time the MTA shut down service was during Tropical Storm Irene in August of 2011. What will be different this year is that “customer advocates,” a position created after Irene, will be at the city’s Incident Command Center, to advocate for the needs of transit riders.

Meanwhile, officials have canceled all weekend subway work, except for on the 7 and J lines, which will only take place on Saturday.

Peter Jaskierny October 27, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Please correct your information above. Hurricane strength winds begin at 74 mph, not at 39 mph. Tropical storm wind strengths range from 39-73 mph. Hurricane Sandy will no longer be a hurricane when it hits NY, so there is no need to add to the scare factor, however unintentionally.
Paul Leonard October 27, 2012 at 01:55 PM
"Tropical Storm" Plan would be more accurate, but that's not the phrase MTA used to describe their preparedness procedures.
Dios Thunders October 28, 2012 at 03:17 PM
will it effect mail service because Im expecting something REALLY IMPORTANT in the mail..just wondering......
Nicole Sims October 28, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Omg thank you. I keep telling people it's not a hurricane it's a tropical storm. I feel everything is so over dramatic. They are acting like it's a category 4 hurricane. I've experience category 3 and 4 hurricanes. They said rain all day today and not one drop as yet. I feel for my friends on the water in Mill Basin where regardless of a tropical storm or hurricane they will experience massive flooding.
Parksloper October 29, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Every news organization is calling it a hurricane.


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