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Hurricane Sandy

Transportation Nation

Amtrak, NJ Transit Tunnels Are Dry, More Penn Station Trains Can Roll on Friday

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Amtrak's has six tunnels under the East and Hudson Rivers. They are 102-years-old. This was the first time any of them flooded, and Sandy left four of them filled with water.

Amtrak pumped one dry two days later. It has taken another week for Amtrak to finish drying out the other three tunnels that were flooded by Sandy, but by Friday, Amtrak expects to add train service to New York's Penn Station nearly doubling capacity since the storm. Strained New Jersey Transit will also be able to add service.

One of the newly dried tunnels crosses the Hudson River and will allow extra Amtrak and NJ Transit service to New Jersey and to the south. With both trans-Hudson tunnels open, Amtrak expects trains to run 24 trains per hour across the river, 63 percent of normal capacity.

That may sound low, but it is double Wednesday's rate, offering desperately craved relief from long lines and strains on a commuter bus system trying to accommodate rail riders stripped of their normal commuting options. Lines for buses Tuesday afternoon snaked throughout the Port Authority bus terminal and added an hour or more of delay to many people's commutes home.

A project to build an additional trans-Hudson tunnel was begun, mostly funded, and then scrapped by NJ Governor Chris Christie who cited fears of cost overruns in the billions of dollars.

The other two tunnels coming back on line cross the East River and support Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Service, Empire Service and trains from the North and West of New York, including to Albany, NY. Those tunnels will open at 80 percent capacity, about 32 trains per hour, as repairs continue, Amtrak said in a statement.

"The return of all tunnel access to New York City will be a major milestone in the continued restoration of Amtrak and commuter rail service and for the larger recovery efforts of the Northeast region," said Amtrak President Joe Boardman in an emailed statement.

Full operational capacity may still be a ways away for Amtrak as it is for other area transit agencies battered by Sandy's storm surge. As a sample of the myriad puzzles involved in recovery, Amtrak offered this example: Some stretches of Northeast Corridor track retain the 1930's era equipment inherited by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Those use 25 hz current to power trains. The new standard is 60 hz. So the rail company can't just swap in replacement parts from other stretches of track, or easily identify alternate power sources.

Temporary bypass signaling must be rigged up in places, slowing capacity as well.

Amtrak's two other East River tunnels did not flood and have been running at capacity. Nine NY MTA subway tunnels flooded in Hurricane Sandy, all but one had been drained as of Wednesday afternoon.

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WNYC News

Rockaway Dispatch: Bracing for the Coldest Night

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Sanitation trucks rumbled down mud-caked streets past downed power lines as thick sheets of sleet fell on the few residents roaming the streets of Far Rockaway Wednesday as a Nor’easter began bearing down.

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It's A Free Country ®

Christie: I Didn't 'Embrace' President Obama

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

WNYC

Governor Chris Christie said Wednesday he'd worked "very hard" for Mitt Romney and the Republican ticket and argued he didn't "embrace" President Barack Obama.  Christie has been under fire from some conservative commentators for overly-effusive praise of the President in the wake of storm Sandy.

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WNYC News

Essay | For Many, Life in the Dark on Long Island

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

When the power first went out last Monday in parts of my neighborhood, Floral Park, my parents and I hoped it’d be back on in a matter of hours. But the wait turned into days, and cold nights. So I had to spend much of the day at my aunt’s, working, before coming home to a cold house in the evening.

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New Jersey News

After 9 Days Without Power, NJ Residents Fume Over Utility's Response

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Nine days after Sandy slammed into New Jersey, more than 360,000 residences and businesses in the state still have no power — and half of them are customers of Jersey Central Power and Light.

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Conducting Business

How Arts Groups Can Recover Post-Sandy

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

What was Superstorm Sandy's larger impact on the arts? What can hard-hit cultural organizations do to recover? In this podcast, three experts discuss what resources are available for artists.

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WNYC News

Look | Preparing for One Storm by Cleaning Up the Mess from Another

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

City parks are closed as another storm approaches the region. In the city’s most well-known park, the staff has been trying clean up much of the damage caused by Sandy to prepare for the Nor’easter that could bring more rain and winds that will batter Central Park’s trees.

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Schoolbook

Sharing School Space Starts Without Incident

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Three high schools opened Wednesday serving the dual purpose of educating its students and sheltering people displaced by the storm. A small sample of the Brooklyn Tech school community revealed little concern about sharing space with evacuees for now.

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Schoolbook

Making the Most of a Bad Situation

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Science teacher Bill Lamonte chronicles the Millenium High School community coming together to plan its re-location to two different schools. More than the difficulties ahead, he said the resilience of his colleagues is worth noting, and applauding.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Extended News from WNYC and NJPR

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

WNYC's Richard Hake and NJPR's David Furst provide extended news coverage of the election results and the latest on recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy with WNYC's Bob Hennelly. Plus, WNYC business editor Charlie Herman talks about this morning's stock market.

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WNYC News

Long Beach Prepares for Long Recovery After Sandy

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Long Island's Nassau County is among the hardest hit areas from last week’s massive storm. Tens of thousands of residents still don’t have power, and several areas have suffered damage from downed power lines, trees, and flooding — especially in Long Beach.

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Schoolbook

Photos: Post-Hurricane Scenes from the Schools

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

From Marines giving away toys at a school shelter in Brooklyn to Staten Island football players unloading supplies for storm victims in that hard-hit borough, these photos capture some of the relief efforts that have been underway at schools across the city.

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New Jersey News

NJ Gas Distribution Network Faces Challenges After Sandy

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Getting gas for cars and generators continues to pose challenges for residents in many parts of the New Jersey, a week after Sandy.

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Schoolbook

Damaged Schools Prepare For New Homes

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Administrators tackled the daunting task of planning the relocation of their students from schools too damaged by Hurricane Sandy to open to schools in other parts of the city that are making space for the displaced children.

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Transportation Nation

Storm-Hobbled NJ Transit Bulging with Above-Average Ridership

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Lines at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Tuesday, 11/6/12 (photo by Alex Goldmark)

New Jersey Transit is running trains on a damaged rail network,on reduced schedules, through stations with limited or even no electricity.

And ridership is up 15 percent above normal.

NJ Transit spokesperson Nancy Snyder told Transportation Nation her agency carried 150,000 people Monday into New York City during the morning rush. The normal weekday ridership into Manhattan is 136,000.

Riders who normally take PATH trains into Manhattan looked for other options since one of two PATH tunnels remains out of commission.  The Holland Tunnel is restricted to buses only, so drivers had fewer options as well. The result was a packed commute from New Jersey into Manhattan, one so crowded it closed some NJ Transit rail stations due to unsafe conditions.

"We closely monitored how our [plan] worked out. There was congestion in certain areas, we realigned our resources. ... This morning it went a lot more smoothly," Snyder said.

"In and around the South Orange, Irvington, Maplewood area ...  we are adding more buses to accommodate that increased demand. We are also looking at other key areas," she said.

NJT is running "emergency bus" service from park-and-ride locations like shopping malls shuttle carry passengers to places where they can grab alternative transportation to NYC, either by ferry or bus. Those locations were condensed, and some of the buses deployed to areas that experienced especially bad wait times for buses, like South Orange.

"Today was markedly improved in South Orange, N.J. at the morning commute, but I am still dreading the evening commute," said South Orange resident Ritu Pancholy. She said she would leave work in Manhattan early today to avoid what she feared would be excessive waits at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. She hoped to get home in time to pick up her son at daycare and still making it to her polling location to vote.

On Tuesday night at 6pm, lines at the Port Authority Bus Terminal were lengthy -- and growing. Some passengers on line for the 107 to South Orange said they had been waiting for almost an hour and a half. Still, some said, it was better than Monday's commute.

 

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Schoolbook

Teachers Volunteer in Hard-Hit Areas

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Teachers used Election Day, technically set aside for professional development, to offer help to people struggling in parts of the city devastated by Sandy.

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Schoolbook

Three Shelter Buildings to Remain Closed

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Three school buildings that served as hurricane shelters will remain closed on Wednesday while students will return to other schools that had provided shelter to hurricane evacuees the past week.

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WNYC News

Don't Wait for Insurance Inspector, New York Tells Homeowners with Claims

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

With another storm on the way, New York State is changing the procedures on home insurance claims following Sandy.

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Transportation Nation

More NYC Subway Service Restored, Voter Shuttle Routes and Updates on A, B, G, L Trains

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


MTA employees using a pump train are working around the clock to pump seawater out of the L train's tunnel under the East River. This photo shows activity on the afternoon of Monday, November 5. After the tunnel is pumped dry of water, work will begin to inspect tracks, signals, switches, electrical components, and third rail. (Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin.)

The New York MTA is restoring  more subway service.

The A train is now reaching the Northern end of the line at 207th street. B trains are running again from the Bronx to Brooklyn.

The L, Z and G trains are still largely out of service but could return as early as tomorrow now that the L tunnel under the East River is dry.

Stations at the very southern end of Manhattan where flooding was ceiling high in some cases remain closed. Rockaway train service on the S and A is also out of service.

Voter bus shuttles are running for election day to various polling places around the city in places hit by Sandy. To find you shuttle, scroll to the chart at the bottom of this post.

Here's the full update on service restoration direct from the MTA:

MTA Service Advisory: More Subway Service Restored

Queens Midtown Tunnel is Open for Buses Only

Voter Shuttle Buses Carrying Voters to Polls in Staten Island, Coney Island & Rockaways

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) restored additional subway and, bus and services in time for this morning’s rush hour.

Service on the A has been restored in upper Manhattan to 207th Street which has allowed service on the C train to be extended to the 168th Street station.  The restoration of A service to 207th Street will alleviate overcrowding on the 123. The B train is now running between Bedford Park Boulevard in the Bronx and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. The Q train is now operating from 57th Street – 7th Avenue in Manhattan to Brighton Beach.  Customers are reminded that some lines are still running with extended headways.

Work continues on restoring service on the G and L lines through northwest Brooklyn, where alternate service on the J and M trains remains crowded. The G’s Greenpoint tube under Newtown Creek has been pumped out but extensive work remains to repair the signal system. The L’s 14th Street tube under the East River is now dry and damage is currently being assessed.  NYCT is running extra buses on the B62 route to offer additional service through the area.  The Z and Rockaway Park S remain suspended.

The following stations remain closed:

Manhattan

·        Rector St 1, South Ferry 1 (South Ferry closed indefinitely)

·        Fulton St J, Broad Street J

·        City Hall R, Cortlandt St R, Rector St R, Whitehall St R

·         All L stations from 8th Avenue to 1st Avenue.

Brooklyn

·        All G stations from Greenpoint Avenue to Church Avenue.  However, Hoyt-Schermerhorn is serviced by the AC and stations from Bergen Street to Church Avenue are serviced by the F

·        All L stations between Bedford Avenue and Bushwick Ave-Aberdeen Street.

·         All N stations along the Sea Beach line between 8th Avenue and Coney Island.

·         25th Avenue D, Bay 50th Street D, Coney Island D

·         Neptune Avenue F, West 8th St-NY Aquarium F, Coney Island F

·         Ocean Parkway Q, West 8th St-NY Aquarium Q, Coney Island Q

 

Queens

·         Court Square G, 21st Street G

·         All A stations between Howard Beach and Far Rockaway-Mott Ave and Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street

Queens Midtown Tunnel Opens for Rush Hour Buses

MTA Bridges and Tunnels opened one lane of the Queens Midtown Tunnel for buses only this morning. One lane of the south tube opened for Manhattan-bound buses from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and for Queens-bound buses from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The tunnel will be closed to traffic at all other times.

The Queens Midtown Tunnel was flooded with storm surge and sustained significant damage to its mechanical systems that must be repaired. No timetable has been established to reopen the tunnel to general traffic.

The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, formerly known as the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, was also flooded by storm surge. Pumping operations continue at the tunnel and there is no timetable for reopening it.

Voter Shuttle Buses

The MTA is also operating special “MTA Voter Shuttles” today to carry voters from damaged polling places to alternate sites established by the Board of Elections on Staten Island, in Coney Island and in the Rockaways.

The free Election Day shuttle buses will run every 15 to 20 minutes, in addition to other scheduled bus service in those areas.

The buses will be marked by “MTA Voter Shuttle” destination signs and will run from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. to help voters, particularly those displaced by Hurricane Sandy, reach polling places.  MTA buses will also be dispatched to carry Board of Elections polling station workers from their Queens headquarters in Kew Gardens to their newly assigned polling stations in the three areas.  Routes for the “MTA Voter Shuttle” buses are described in the attached document.

 

 

Shuttle Bus Chart

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WNYC News

Sandy-Torn Northeast Deals With More Wind, Snow

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy are dealing with new outages after a nor'easter left a blanket of snow that snapped storm-weakened trees and downed power lines.
Follow @WNYC for the latest updates on the Nor'easter from our reporters in the field.

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