With Hurricane Joaquin heading toward New York, the MTA has additional crews ready to keep water out of the stations and monitor conditions.
The storm was upgraded to a category 4 storm by the National Hurricane Center on Thursday, as it passed through the Bahamas.
New York City is under a coastal flood advisory through Friday morning, and coastal flood advisory through Saturday, as well as a hazardous weather outlook. Friday’s forecast calls for rain after 2 p.m., with wind gusts up to 33 mph and up to half an inch of precipitation. Rain continues through the weekend and next week.
“There’s a lot that we learned [since Sandy], how we can best protect our assets,” said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz, who said the agency has completed repairs on two of the ninesubway tubes damaged during Sandy, and short and long-term resiliency plans.
“We are working to make sure we have extra personnel in place, we’ll make a determination to what type of service we can run based on how the storm tracks,” Ortiz said.
Giant sandbags and metal fences are now reinforcing the MTA’s Coney Island yards, which are below sea level and sustained damage during Sandy, Ortiz said. The South Ferry station has a metal temporary stair cover to seal off the entrance to prevent flooding.
There are 500 separate protection points in lower Manhattan that can be sealed in case of flooding.
Other long-term improvements since Sandy include a 3-mile sea wall along Broad Channel to protect the Rockaways and the A line.
Speaking on the John Gambling Show on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is preparing for Joaquin to hit as early as Monday, and the city has over 30 agencies at a “high state of readiness.”
“Our Office of Emergency Management is on full alert and in full activation. We’re constantly checking in with the National Weather Service. We’re going to be ready either way,” de Blasio said, touting a $20 billion post-Sandy plan to prepare the city for future storms.
Up to date information on Hurricane Joaquin is available on the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center site.