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Grand Central crowd swells after Metro-North cancels service during storm

Lhota complimented Metro-North Railroad customers on handling the situation well.

Grand Central Terminal was crowded with hundreds of

Grand Central Terminal was crowded with hundreds of people Tuesday evening after Metro-North Railroad service was suspended during a thunderstorm that knocked down trees and caused power issues, the MTA said. Photo Credit: Kristen Ledesma

Metro-North was operating on a regular schedule with some canceled trains on the Harlem and Hudson lines Wednesday morning, after severe thunderstorms Tuesday evening that left hundreds of people stranded in Grand Central Terminal.

Service on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines was suspended around 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, just as the evening's peak rush hour was getting underway, due to toppled trees and power issues caused by the storm.

Grand Central quickly filled up with commuters without anywhere else to go. The Metro-North Twitter account was warning people to avoid the terminal until service could resume. 

MTA chairman Joe Lhota, speaking during a hastily planned news conference at Grand Central, said trains were getting back on line as of about 6:10 p.m., but warned that residual delays would still be a factor.

"We were able to recover relatively quickly," Lhota said of the service outage. "I’ve got to compliment all of our customers, they handled it very well."

Lhota said the decision to limit entry to Grand Central during the peak service outage was a matter of crowd control.

“For safety of the people who were in the terminal," he added.

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