Albany, NY - January 24, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today held a briefing with senior state officials regarding the latest storm updates.
“This was a truly historic storm, and while we have made good progress we are not done working yet,” Governor Cuomo said. “The travel ban has been lifted, but New Yorkers should still avoid unnecessary travel – please use caution, plan ahead and stay safe. I want to thank the incredible people who worked around the clock responding to this storm. Many of them are still out there trying to clear the tracks and get full service restored across our public transit systems. Whether it was our thousands of state and local workers shoveling snow or the individuals who checked on their neighbors and offered a helping hand, this was a great example of how New Yorkers come together in times of need.”
Power: There are approximately 172 customers currently without power throughout the downstate region – although thousands lost power at different points during the storm – and the Public Service Commission is making sure that utility companies are doing everything they can to restore power as quickly as possible. The PSC is also offering extended hours on its helpline for people to report outages and get more information. The PSC’s Call Center Helpline will be available from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday to assist consumers in their storm preparation and restoration efforts. The Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-342-3377.
Airports: While LaGuardia and JFK airports are open and flights are arriving and departing, many flights have been cancelled and more are expected to be cancelled, so passengers are urged to check with their airlines before heading to the airports. So far today, approximately 85% of flights have been cancelled at LaGuardia, and more than 50% have been cancelled at JFK.
Earlier this morning, Governor Cuomo announced an update on MTA services throughout the downstate region. That update is available here, but travelers are urged to visit www.mta.info for the latest information.
Governor Cuomo holds storm briefing with senior state officials. Photo by Governor Andrew Cuomo, via Flickr.
Travel ban lifted/Service restorations: As of 7:00 a.m., the travel ban in New York City and Long Island was lifted, MTA buses had resumed service, and bridges and tunnels were opened without incident. As of 9:00 a.m., limited service returned to most of the MTA’s outdoor subway lines. Some lines required additional snow clearing work due to extensive accumulation, and the MTA will provide additional updates throughout the day.
Metro-North: MTA Metro-North Railroad will begin restoring service at outlying stations after 12 noon, and will be fully operational in and out of Grand Central Terminal by 3 pm, operating on a Sunday schedule. Grand Central Terminal will open for retail customers at 8 am. Specific line information is available at www.mta.info. Pascack Valley Line service is restored with the 1:58 p.m. departure out of Hoboken. On the Port Jervis Line, NJ Transit has announced service to Suffern, N.Y., begins with the regularly scheduled 12:25 p.m. departure from Hoboken. The first train from Suffern will depart at 1:06 p.m. Metro-North and NJ Transit are still working to restore service deeper into New York State beyond Suffern.
LIRR: Many of the railroad’s yards are still buried in more than two feet of snow, as is the Harold Interlocking in Queens, where all lines intersect before entering the tunnels to Manhattan. Tracks are still impeded by stranded trains in some locations, while frozen switches prevent the railroad’s snow-clearing equipment from moving through the system to reach the areas they are needed. To support the MTA’s snow removal efforts, multiple DOT crews, plows and other equipment has been shifted from Upstate locations to help out. Crews will work throughout the day to restore the railroad, focusing on the most heavily-traveled branches first, with a goal of bringing back service for the Monday morning rush. Updates on progress will be made available throughout the day.