Subway service restored on all lines after Isaias torments city with high winds

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A Long Island Rail Road commuter at the Flushing – Main Street Station on the Port Washington line in Queens.
Photo by Mark Hallum

Up to 10,000 MTA employees worked to restore service on subway lines suspended in preparation of Tropical Storm Isaias on Tuesday and as of Monday morning, above-ground train lines had been cleared of debris.

But while the trains are up and running again, service is not without limitation, MTA Chairman Pat Foye said in a radio appearance.

“Subway services have fully restored, Staten Island Railway running on 30-minute headways, no express service this morning. Buses are back to normal. Buses were least obstructed by the storm. MTA Bridges and Tunnels are full service, HOV lanes are in effect.” Foye said.

Long Island Rail Road service, which was completely suspended due to the storm, has not been so quick to recover, however.

“Right now, the Port Washington, West Hempstead, Long Beach, Hempstead, Babylon, Far Rockaway — and this is news — the Ronkonkoma Branch are operating weekend service,” Foye added. “On Metro-North, on Long Island Rail Road there were probably a total of 300 trees that came down on tracks, plus utility poles, etc.”

The MTA had shut down up to three lines on the Metro-North were shut down; the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines. The Verrazano Bridge was also shut down due to winds clocking in at 40 to 70 miles per hour, meaning that commuters to Staten Island were forced to take bus services through the Holland Tunnel and over the Bayonne Bridge with the Staten Island Ferry, operated by the city Department of Transportation, also being shut down.

By 3 p.m. Tuesday, half hour service on the Staten Island Ferry had resumed as well as overnight service on the hour by 11 p.m.

“Since the storm hit, the workforce has been out around-the-clock but we have been able to restore on a number of branches, including Port Washington, Babylon, Far Rockaway, Long Beach, West Hempstead, Hempstead, and then this morning we restored service back on Huntington and Ronkonkoma for our Main Line, and it’s some limited service because equipment needs to be positioned to run more robust westbound service,” said  LIRR President Phil Eng. “But we have service back on Huntington and Ronkonkoma. Now we’re working on Port Jefferson Branch that has a number of locations that has significant downed trees and power issues. Oyster Bay Branch is getting cleaned up, we expect that back today and then we’re continuing to work on Greenport and Montauk as we restore all our branches back to the service we’ve been running.”