Trains and buses run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are back to their regular weekend service after torrential downpours across the New York City region flooded stations and roadways, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Saturday morning.
The rains heavily disrupted operations across the metropolitan area’s mass transit system on Friday, upending subway service and bringing Metro North trains to a halt between Manhattan and the Bronx.
The disruptions made for a chaotic morning and evening commute as public schools remained open throughout the day and workers braved the morning rush hour. It wasn’t until around noon Friday that the mayor told residents to stay home or “shelter in place.”
“When the trains and buses of the MTA stop, the city stops. Full stop — that’s the result,” Hochul said Saturday morning during a Manhattan press conference.
Subways were back to “full service” by 8:30 p.m. Friday night, MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said at the briefing with Hochul. Buses remained 99 percent operational, despite images of flooded roadways and cars submerged in water.
Friday’s rainfall set an all-time record at JFK Airport, with more than 8 inches recorded in a single day — surpassing its site record from August 2011, according to figures from the National Weather Service.
Lieber said that while delays were rampant across the subway system, “we had only one station where water reached — God forbid — up to the platform level,”
He added, “That was not true in Hurricane Ida.”
The Adams administration has fielded criticism from what some residents have called a delayed response from the mayor, as parts of the city saw record-breaking rainfall. Adams doubled down on pushback against that characterization in a Friday evening radio interview, saying that “if anyone was caught off guard, they had to be living under a rock.”
“There’s a lot that we have done since Ida to prepare New Yorkers,” Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol told WNYC on Saturday morning, adding that there were no known fatalities as a result of the storm; there were at least 13 attributed to the aftermath of Ida.
Asked specifically about criticisms that the Adams administration was caught behind the curve of the storm, Iscol said the city issued a travel advisory on Thursday and made several preparations ahead of time.
“We try and hit on all cylinders making sure that the right information is getting out to the public,” Iscol told WNYC.
For real time updates on specific trains or buses, check MTA’s site.