New York City subways shutting down tonight ahead of 'megastorm'New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered New York City's transit service to suspend bus, subway, and commuter rail service in advance of the massive storm expected to hit the eastern third of the United States.
By: Associated Press, Associated Press
NEW YORK — New York City's subways, buses and commuter trains, which make up the nation's largest transit system, are shutting down Sunday night in advance of the massive storm expected to hit the eastern third of the United States.
"A situation like this, you don't want to be overly panicked and overly prepared, but you want to be prudent, you want to do what's necessary," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday in announcing the suspension.
Hurricane Sandy was headed north from the Caribbean, and was expected to meet a winter storm and a cold front to create a megastorm expected to cause chaos over 800 miles.
"As the storm has not changed course, the storm is still heading to this general area. ... We think it's prudent now to take additional action," Cuomo said.
With a daily ridership of more than 5 million, New York City's subway system is by far the nation's largest. Many New Yorkers do not have cars and depend on subways and buses to get to work, school and around town.
Cuomo says the system will be suspended starting at 7 p.m. Sunday, when the last subways and final Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road commuter trains would run. The last buses will run at 9 p.m. He said the decision to shut down the area's bridges and tunnels would be made on a case-by-case basis.
It was the second time in two years that a weather-related suspension has taken place. Service was also suspended during Tropical Storm Irene last year.
Witlet Maceno, an emergency room nurse working at Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital, was headed home to Staten Island on Sunday morning after his overnight shift.
He said he was going home to check on his parents, visiting from Atlanta, before he returns to work Sunday evening.
"I'm making sure they're OK, that they have water and food, and that the windows are shut tight," he said. "And I'm going to remove stuff outside that could go flying into the windows" of his street-level apartment.
He said he's counting on the security guard at his gated community to respond to any emergency his parents might have, since the house telephone is linked to a combined TV and Internet line that could be knocked out.
"I don't have a regular landline," he said. "But I think they'll be OK."