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Photos

Grim Scenes From New York's Flooded Subway System

Huge parts of the train network remain out of service. Here's why.

City workers are furiously repairing New York's train system, but huge parts remain out of service due to Sandy's mega-vomit of river water. Only about half of the MTA's 23 lines are functioning as of today.

Want to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan? Wait in this hour-long bus line. Need to get to Wall Street or Chinatown? Tough, there are no trains going below 34th Street because of flooding and electricity outages. The less said about the Long Island Railroad the better: It's a virtual black hole of service.

If you want to see what a difficult task the MTA faces in the coming days, look at these photos the agency posted on Tuesday to its Flickr account. The damage is incredible. The South Ferry subway station is a dark Venice with waves lapping at platform edges. Out on the Rockaway line, repair crews face yawning holes in the ground and the occasional washed-up boat on the tracks. If you're wondering why the transit agency didn't prepare for the tidal surge with sandbags and the like, they did: It just didn't make much of a difference against the storm's brutal tides.

(The trashed South Ferry Station. Photo by MTA/Patrick Cashion.)
(The super-gloomy South Ferry train platform. Anyone up for some sea-rat fishing? Photo by MTA.)
(E

scalator to Davy Jones' locker, at South Ferry. Photo by MTA.)

(What passes for South Ferry's entranceway after Sandy. Photo by MTA.)
(A boat has decided to board the A Train aka Rockaway Line. Photo by MTA/Leonard Wiggins.)
(Washed out ballast support near Patterson Boulevard. Photo by MTA/Leonard Wiggins.)
(Another nautical interloper at Metro-North's Ossining Station on the Hudson Line. Says one Flickr commenter: "Go home boat. You're drunk." Photo by MTA.)
(Current service map. Lines not running are shown as translucent. MTA Hurricane Recovery Map)

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.