As New York City undertook its first-ever weather-related transit system shut down, New Yorkers were greeted with a sight that many haven't seen since the 2005 transit strike: gated, taped off subway stations.
A subway station prepares for Hurricane Irene (photo by Kate Hinds)
If that's not eerie enough for you, this picture of an (almost) empty Grand Central looks like it could be preparing for the sequel to "I Am Legend." (Full disclosure: I adapted that thought from Dan Diamond's twitter feed.)
Hurricane Irene: MTA Metro-North Railroad closed Grand Central Terminal as the hurricane approached. Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Marjorie Anders.
At 11am this morning, a white board in the token booth warned customers that time was dwindling to get the heck out of Dodge (or in this case, the West 81st Street subway station):
Sign inside the West 81st Street B/C station (photo by Kate Hinds)
Want to check the subway service status? It's pretty straightforward:
Meanwhile, MTA employees installed barriers to try to prevent water from entering train tunnels...
LIRR employees install an AquaDam to help prevent water from flowing into the LIRR's tunnels to Penn Station. Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Sam Zambuto.
...while city buses prepared to help move New Yorkers out of the mandatory evacuation zones.
Hurricane Irene prep: Buses lined up in Far Rockaway to help with evacuations. Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Palmer Reale.
Even the gates are coming off of rail road crossings.
LIRR employees removed the gates from 295 railroad crossings to prevent damage from high wind. Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Harry Baumann.