MTA Issues Update on Preparations for Tropical Storm Isaias

4th August 2020

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today issued an update on preparations for Hurricane Isaias. The MTA is taking all necessary precautions to protect its transportation network and deliver safe service. Forecasters are predicting tropical storm force winds and rain to arrive in New York City as early as Tuesday morning.

“This is a serious storm and we're taking it seriously,” said MTA Chief Operating Officer Mario Péloquin “The MTA is fully engaged in storm preparations across the entire transportation network, and we'll be getting the benefits of extensive resiliency efforts that have been going on for years since Superstorm Sandy, particularly in low-lying areas of NYC.”

“We are closely monitoring the storm that is expected to bring strong winds and rain to New York City,” said Interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg. “There is a comprehensive plan in place for subways and buses and as always, the safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority.”

“Our crews are prepared to respond to any and all weather-related events,” said Interim Senior Vice President of Subways Frank Jezycki. “We are monitoring this situation 24/7 and will have equipment in place to make sure trains continue to run and our riders can get where they need to go.”

“We have taken extensive preparations to make sure our depots and buses are ready for this storm, and are monitoring conditions closely throughout our vast service area,” said Craig Cipriano, President of MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President for the NYC Transit Department of Buses.  “Safety is our number one priority and we strongly encourage our customers to plan extra travel time and monitor our website, app, and the news in case there are delays or detours.”

“We have been preparing for Isaias for days now and are prepositioning equipment and personnel, inspecting culverts and poor drainage areas, and going to a weekend schedule Tuesday,” said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi.  “Metro-North territory is particularly vulnerable to high winds due to trees and overhead power wires, and customers should plan for the possibility of delays and disruptions when the storm hits.”

“One of the guiding principles of LIRR Forward is to proactively address critical issues that we can control and to be as prepared as we can be for things outside of our control like Mother Nature,” said LIRR President Phil Eng. “Our series of initiatives through LIRR Forward including clearing hundreds of miles of trees and vegetation along the tracks, working with PSEG to harden more than 220 transmission and distribution poles along the tracks and proactively replacing or repairing track infrastructure  –  has put us in a better position to mitigate the impacts of storms such as Isaias and to better respond minimizing any service impacts that may arise. We encourage customers to use our newly updated TrainTime app for the latest real-time service information and travel data.”

“High winds pose a particularly serious concern on bridges, which is why we’re instituting a ban on tandem trailers and empty tractor trailers on our bridges from noon to midnight on Tuesday,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Daniel DeCrescenzo.  “Additional restrictions may put into place if conditions warrant so we are advising all motorists to look out for announcements as the storm passes through.”

Across New York City Transit, the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and MTA Bridges and Tunnels, crews have assembled 1 million gallons of diesel fuel, 303,000 sandbags, 77,800 gallons of gasoline, 7,348 sheets of plywood, 884 chain saws, 671 portable generators, 422 barriers made of concrete or plastic, 264 pumps, 218 torches, 198 water suction and discharge hoses, 134 fans, 79 emergency response vehicles, 56 wrecker/tow trucks, 37 excavators, 33 variable message signs, 18 weather data collection stations and three debris-clearing trains.

Customers should take precautions to travel safely and should defer non-essential travel, if possible, during  and after heavy rain and winds. Customers may experience significant delays or disruptions and should allow for extra travel time, take extra caution when walking on platforms and stairs, watch for slippery conditions and be mindful for overhead foliage or wires.

All MTA agencies are working closely together, coordinating with local partners to develop precautionary change plans should service be impacted.

Image: MTA