Amid a severe gas shortage that has left manyÂ New Yorkers stranded in their cold, dark homes, the Metropolitan TransportationÂ Authority continued draining the waterlogged tunnels in hopes of having much ofÂ the service restored by the end of the weekend.
The transit agency has released photos onÂ Saturday showing workers draining two of the seven tunnels beneath the EastÂ River that have been flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The Cranberry Street Tunnel carries the A andÂ C trains between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and the 53rd Street Tunnel carries theÂ E and M trains between Queens and Manhattan.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said SaturdayÂ that 80 per cent of service in the MTA subway system already has been restored,Â including critical under-river connections between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn,Â the WallÂ Street JournalÂ reported.
Trains on the 4 and 5 lines were runningÂ through pumped-out tunnels under the East River into Brooklyn, and the No 7 lineÂ is running from Midtown into Queens, Cuomo said in a press briefing.
The 6 train, which runs from the BrooklynÂ Bridge up Lexington Avenue in Manhattan and into the Bronx, is also back onÂ line.
MTA Chairman Joseph LhotaÂ said thatÂ five off the seven flooded tunnels under the East River have been drained, butÂ much work still remains to be done.
The 14th Street tube, which carries the LÂ train into Williamsburg, is still inundated ‘from wall to wall and floor toÂ ceiling.’
The superstrom that has left 109 dead andÂ plunged 60 million people into darkness on Monday, sent torrents of water intoÂ the New York City’s massive subway system that serves 5.5 million riders daily,Â paralyzing mass transit for days.
Trains stopped running at 7pm last Sunday asÂ the MTA preemptively closed down service for only the second time in its historyÂ in an effort to secure the system, but that did little to prevent massiveÂ damage.
All seven tunnels carrying trains betweenÂ Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens were initially submerged, marking the worst’sÂ disaster in the subway’s 108-year history.
The long, labor-intensive process of riddingÂ the underground arteries off water requires hundreds of pumps, including onesÂ powerful enough to empty an Olympic-sized pool in less than 15 minutes, as wellÂ as help from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ special SWAT Team.
The Army’s water-removal team consisting ofÂ more than a dozen experts has been using 12 eight-inch pumps and 13 six-inchÂ pumps shipped from New Orleans.
Once bigger pumps arrive, the MTA chairmanÂ said it won’t take much time to drain the tunnels. Until then, the job isÂ slow-going.
Each subway tunnel would require four pumpsÂ that could remove 1,000-1,500 gallons per minute, a 2011 New York
City report estimated. At that rate, aboutÂ 7.2 million gallons per day, per tunnel could be drained, although it remainsÂ unknown exactly how long it would take to drain all of the water.
Source: The Daily Mail