Amid a severe gas shortage that has left many New Yorkers stranded in their cold, dark homes, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority continued draining the waterlogged tunnels in hopes of having much of the service restored by the end of the weekend.
The transit agency has released photos on Saturday showing workers draining two of the seven tunnels beneath the East River that have been flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The Cranberry Street Tunnel carries the A and C trains between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and the 53rd Street Tunnel carries the E and M trains between Queens and Manhattan.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that 80 per cent of service in the MTA subway system already has been restored, including critical under-river connections between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Trains on the 4 and 5 lines were running through pumped-out tunnels under the East River into Brooklyn, and the No 7 line is running from Midtown into Queens, Cuomo said in a press briefing.
The 6 train, which runs from the Brooklyn Bridge up Lexington Avenue in Manhattan and into the Bronx, is also back on line.
MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said that five off the seven flooded tunnels under the East River have been drained, but much work still remains to be done.
The 14th Street tube, which carries the L train into Williamsburg, is still inundated ‘from wall to wall and floor to ceiling.’
The superstrom that has left 109 dead and plunged 60 million people into darkness on Monday, sent torrents of water into the New York City’s massive subway system that serves 5.5 million riders daily, paralyzing mass transit for days.
Trains stopped running at 7pm last Sunday as the MTA preemptively closed down service for only the second time in its history in an effort to secure the system, but that did little to prevent massive damage.
All seven tunnels carrying trains between Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens were initially submerged, marking the worst’s disaster in the subway’s 108-year history.
The long, labor-intensive process of ridding the underground arteries off water requires hundreds of pumps, including ones powerful enough to empty an Olympic-sized pool in less than 15 minutes, as well as help from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ special SWAT Team.
The Army’s water-removal team consisting of more than a dozen experts has been using 12 eight-inch pumps and 13 six-inch pumps shipped from New Orleans.
Once bigger pumps arrive, the MTA chairman said it won’t take much time to drain the tunnels. Until then, the job is slow-going.
Each subway tunnel would require four pumps that could remove 1,000-1,500 gallons per minute, a 2011 New York
City report estimated. At that rate, about 7.2 million gallons per day, per tunnel could be drained, although it remains unknown exactly how long it would take to drain all of the water.
Source: The Daily Mail