Hurricane Sandy forces mass transit closure - New York News

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Zone A evacuation ordered

Hurricane Sandy forces mass transit closure, evacuations

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Transit officials in New York were carrying out a total shutdown of subway, bus and train service as Hurricane Sandy headed to the metropolitan region.

All service was starting to be suspended at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

COMPLETE COVERAGE AND TRACK SANDY

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to start planning for an orderly suspension of service.

New York City subways and buses started phasing out service at 7 p.m.  Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road suspended service at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The city's mass transit system is the nation's largest. The subway alone has a daily ridership of more than 5 million.

NJ Transit, PATH and Amtrak also shut down service in the region.

Bridges and tunnels will be closed on a case-by-case basis.

Rainfall is expected to start late Sunday or early Monday in New York. Hurricane Sandy is headed north from the Caribbean to meet a winter storm and a cold front. Experts say the rare hybrid storm that results will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

City officials ordered an evacuation of Zone A areas that are prone to flooding.  New York City public schools were ordered closed on Monday.

On Saturday, the MTA had workers nailing plywood covers to subway ventilation grates at South Ferry to help prevent flooding.  

The agency began to secure subway covers after flooding by a severe rainstorm on August 8, 2007.  After that storm the MTA started a program to raise the grates in sidewalks that ventilate the subway at flood-prone locations.  

The raised ventilation grates are located in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, and help reduce the amount of water that enters the subway system from street level. All are designed to be attention-getting so that pedestrians don't stumble into them, and in some cases they double as bicycle racks, benches, and artistic stainless steel sculptural forms.

Hurricane Sandy Notes:

-  New York City ordered an evacuation of Zone A areas of the city and schools were ordered closed on Monday.

- Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the New York Army and Air National Guard to mobilize in response to Hurricane Sandy.

- Gov. Chris Christie ordered evacuations of New Jersey barrier islands and closed all state offices on Monday.

- Gov. Dannel Malloy ordered evacuations of parts of several Connecticut cities and said the state is likely to see the worst-case scenario from the storm.

- All mass transit in and out of New York City was being shut down on Sunday night including MTA, NJ Transit and PATH service.

- Major carriers canceled all flights into and out of three area airports in the New York metro area.

- New York Downtown Hospital in Lower Manhattan was evacuated Sunday due to the threat of power loss in the area

- Broadway took the threat of the mammoth storm seriously, with theater owners canceling all Sunday evening and Monday performances

- The New York Stock Exchange and the NYMEX were shutting their trading floors in New York Monday but trading will continue electronically

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