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In fact, if someone powered down all these pumps tomorrow, the entire subway network would be inundated in just a few hours. Back in the 1990s, a water main broke open, completely flooding the station at 125th Street and St Nicholas Avenue.
Go to the New York state library, burn books to stay warm and wait for Dennis Quaid to arrive. The flooding from "Frankenstorm" Sandy has been everything New York City was expecting (if not worse), and it looks like the long term effects could be serious. The subway was closed today and looks likely to be definitely closed tomorrow, but that may just be the beginning. MTA workers are already saying it could take until the end of the week to have the subway running again, but no-one is really even sure of that. Salt can eat at motors, metal fasteners and the electronic parts, some many decades old, that keep the system running. The NYC subway has been flooded before (during the nor'easter of 1992) and service was brought back to most lines within days. Trees and powerlines were knocked down and heavy rains caused some urban flooding including the metro subway system. Overall, however, the impacts of Irene generally were pretty weak in New York and paled in comparison to the expectations of many who were bracing for the storm. Irene was a compact storm compared to Sandy, and Irene was also a fast mover as it swept through the Northeast in a matter of hours.
Recent bouy data has revealed that tropical storm force winds now extend nearly 500 miles from the center of circulation! This storm has been gradually increasing in size over the last couple of days since it began to interact with stronger winds aloft.
Now, we are watching Hurricane Sandy phase with a powerful upper level storm system that is moving in from the west.
The National Hurricane Center is now forecasting Sandy to make landfall across the Southern New Jersey Coast late tomorrow.
With a typical tropical system, a track such as this would bring the worst of the weather just north of landfall, across the Central Jersey Coast. In fact, the National Weather Service has issued High Wind Warnings for much of the Northeast and down into the Appalachians where Blizzard Warnings are also in effect. This storm poses many hazards including the possibility of damaging winds, flooding rains, heavy snow and coastal flooding. Of all of these threats, though, coastal flooding might be the greatest, especially for New York City and surrounding areas!
As with other tropical systems, a storm surge is created by the combination of lowered air pressure, the storms forward momentum and it's wind field.

This image from the National Hurricane Center shows the extent of Sandy's wind field as tropical storm force winds extend from near Bermuda all the way to the North Carolina Coast! Storm surge flooding will be a big problem for areas to the north of where Sandy makes landfall. Unlike Irene, who came onshore near New York at a very shallow angle, Sandy looks to strike the coast head on! The combination of the storms forward momentum in from the Atlantic Ocean, and also a strong easterly fetch across Long Island Sound to the east of the city could bring multiple storm surges into the city! Now this seems to be a bit on the sensational side, however, it would be dangerous to underestimate the potential dangers associated with this storm. As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. Because of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, transportation in and out of New York City is extremely limited, but is starting to clear. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reopened the Outerbridge Crossing, George Washington, Goethals and Bayonne bridges Tuesday but urged people not to drive unless absolutely necessary. The New York City subway system is closed because of flooding but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg projects service will begin in three to four days. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that officials expect limited, and free, New York bus service to be restored by 5 p.m.
Due to flooding and damage, LaGuardia will not reopen Wednesday and workers will take a closer look to determine when the airport can be back in service. JFK does not have any flooding but does have debris on the runway, although it is expected to reopen Wednesday. Amtrak is currently inspecting tracks and stations to determine the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. PATH train service will take seven to 10 days to resume and New Jersey Transit will be slightly quicker, New Jersey Gov. New York taxi drivers are also permitted to pick up additional passengers when a passenger is already inside, according to ABC affiliate WABC. Liveries, black cars and luxury limousines are permitted to accept street-hail passengers anywhere in New York City. Media That Matters - From the serious to the hilarious, we share stories that rise to the top. To give you an idea of how complex and massive this system is, it pulls 50 million litres of water out of the subway on any sunny day. They had to send scuba divers to fix it, and use a diesel-powered train car to take the water out. The water flooding could take out entire lines if the pumps fail to keep the levels below their safety limits.

This photo, tweeted out by Port Authority NY + NY, shows how bad the situation is at underground stations. Salt water, and the deposits it leaves behind, degrades the relays that run the signal system, preventing train collisions.
However, the same storm flooded PATH trains a€” which were forced to remain closed for 10 days after the storm. The subway system is 108 years old but has never faced a disaster like this, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said. New York's LaGuardia and JFK airports remain closed Tuesday due to extreme flooding and debris. They are also working to make necessary repairs along Amtrak-owned sections of railroad in the Northeast, including the Northeast Corridor. The original passenger will pay the metered fare, even if the taxi has to take a detour to drop off the additional passengers.
In 2004, the subway system stopped after Hurricane Frances spewed two inches of rain per hour over the city. Make no mistake, it is totally crazy outside with wind and rain, and all the tunnels and public transport systems have been shutdown. Salt water also conducts electricity, which can exacerbate damage to signals if the system isn't powered down before a flood. He says that the storm was the worst disaster the NYC Subway faced in 108 years, but did not give a timeline for reopening. Unless hazardous materials are safeguarded with storm surges in mind, some local groups warn, residents could one day be wading through toxic water.The article goes further into the myriad steps that would have to take place to prepare, and all the moving pieces whose gears have to mesh. The fare for the additional passengers is to be negotiated between the driver and passenger. The TLC recommends a fare of $15 per trip for trips within Manhattan under 96th Street or within Manhattan above 96th Street, or within another borough, and $25 per trip for trips crossing from one borough into another borough or crossing 96th Street in Manhattan. The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission recommends a fare of $10 per additional passenger who join an already in process trip.
If Sandy manages to kill the power or any of the fragile old pumps protecting the system, there may be some serious problems.

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