The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today issued an update on preparations for Tropical Storm Fay. The MTA has activated its 24/7 Situation Room with a tropical storm warning already in effect for New York City. The MTA is taking all necessary precautions to protect its transportation network and deliver safe service. The storm is expected to make landfall near New York City late Friday into Saturday morning with forecasters predicting heavy rain and wind gusts up to 50 mph.
“We are closely monitoring the storm with strong winds and heavy rain expected across New York City and have activated our 24/7 command center,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “We have a comprehensive agency-wide plan in place to protect the system and ensure the safety of all employees and customers.”
All MTA agencies are working closely together and coordinating with local partners to develop precautionary service change plans should service be impacted. Details of each agency’s storm planning are provided below.
New York City Transit Subways and Buses
The Rail Control Center is closely monitoring the storm’s progress throughout the day. Crews will do the following in preparation:
- Stage crews to monitor and respond to flood-prone locations.
- Inspect track pump locations.
- Inspect drains at flood prone locations and ensure they are ready to accept water and not create any unsafe conditions.
- Inspect direct sewer connections.
- Inspect and stage emergency trucks, pumping equipment, and emergency response equipment.
- Cover street vents at key locations.
- Prepare, fuel and test equipment for debris clearance, if necessary.
- Prep debris trains for supporting clean-up activities.
- Continue to monitor weather reports and assess any implications of storm conditions on high tides or storm surge.
- Depots in flood prone areas will pay special attention for flash flooding.
- Flood prone route corridors will also receive extra monitoring.
- Bus depots will have extra operators and buses on hand to support any possible subway service disruption, and have extra staff to assist in the event a bus is disabled.
- Ensure bus windows, hatches and doors are closed.
- Staten Island Division will be ready to support Staten Island Railway on South Shore of Staten Island.
- Staten Island routes will pay special attention to Richmond Terrace area for flash floods.
A Local Storm Desk will be activated if conditions warrant. All maintenance departments will be staffed sufficiently. Crews will perform frequent signal switch tests to ensure all signals are functioning as intended and activate weather-related precautions as needed. Non-essential repair, maintenance and construction work is being evaluated for possible suspensions if the weather warrants.
Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad
There will be around-the-clock staffing for maintenance, operations and customer service departments.
LIRR and Metro-North have taken the following precautions:
- Strategic deployment of maintenance personnel including track, signal and power staff and emergency equipment throughout the territory.
- Have additional public information officers and public address announcers on duty to keep customers informed with up-to-the-minute service information.
- Safety messaging reminding customers to take extra caution when traveling will be made at stations, on trains and platforms, email/text alerts and social media.
- Roof drains, storm drains and catch basins will be cleared as necessary to prevent flash flooding.
- Have emergency tree removal equipment ready for deployment if needed.
- Speed restrictions will be implemented in coordination with wind gust peaks where and when necessary.
Bridges & Tunnels
All facilities are fully prepared and staffed for an expeditious response to weather-related incidents and will be evaluated throughout the event to ensure efficient deployment of personnel and/or resources. Electronic weather sensors are functional and all facilities can monitor weather and roadway conditions. Areas that have proven to be historically prone to flash flooding have been checked and are reported to be free and clear of debris and other obstructions. Crews will monitor these areas and respond to conditions throughout. Due to the forecasted wind speeds, a soft ban of empty and/or tandem trailers will be in effect from noon today through midnight. Tractor trailers with empty and/or tandem trailers are to use alternate routes. Motorists should be aware additional restrictions may be put in place based on conditions.
Authority-wide equipment and supplies–including facility generators, fuel, anemometers–have been checked successfully and are at adequate levels for response and deployment to tropical storm related issues.
Customers should take precautions to travel safely during and after heavy rain and winds. This includes allowing for extra travel time, taking extra caution when walking on platforms and stairs, watch for slippery conditions and to be mindful for overhead foliage or wires.
For real-time service updates and information, customers may use the following options: