Flooding in Tunnel Shuts Down 1, 2, 3 Lines

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A subway line on Manhattan's Upper West Side was suspended for an hour and a half during this morning's rush hour because of heavy rain.

The shut-down occurred despite more than 60 million dollars the MTA has put into flood mitigation work in the past three years.

Some of that money went to a simple fix: raising sidewalk ventilation grates about a foot off the ground so rainwater doesn't flow into them. The MTA did that in three places along upper Broadway, above the 1-2 and 3 subway lines.

However, according to an MTA spokesman, Friday's problem stemmed from a different issue--a storm drain owned by the city. The excessive rain tripped a valve that blocked more water from entering the subway, but it also prevented water already inside the subway tunnel from draining out. Yet the spokesman assured the valve prevented even more severe delays from occuring, had more water entered the tunnel.

Transit advocates say that despite today's delays, the subways fared far better than during an August 2007 storm, which shut down almost the entire system for most of the morning.