The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates Metro-North Railroad, could suspend service throughout its system, as it did last year before Hurricane Irene, officials said.
If sustained winds higher than 39 mph are predicted, the MTA Hurricane Plan calls for service to be shut down. The decision to suspend service will depend on the storm’s path, officials said. The public will be advised ahead of time.
“Our first priority is always safety, and the MTA is taking no chances with the safety of our customers, our employees and our equipment,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Whatever happens, we’ll be ready.”
Metro-North crews have been moving rail cars from low-lying storage places or outdoor tracks and preparing emergency equipment, such as generators and chainsaws. Crews are also removing debris from catch basins and putting up barriers in flood-prone areas. Metro-North has 800 miles of track, and much of it runs along rivers and the Long Island Sound, which could overflow, officials said.
The agency advised people to check mta.info for service updates and announcements.
(This NOAA satellite image taken Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 at 1:45 a.m. EDT shows Category 2 Hurricane Sandy moving northward across eastern Cuba with sustained wind speeds of 110 mph as weakening Tropical Storm Tony is in the central Atlantic Basin moving ENE with sustained winds of 50 mph. (AP Photo/Weather Underground)