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NYC Transit Prepping for Heavy Rain

Keeping drains clean
Keeping drains clean

In anticipation of a heavy rain storm, MTA New York City Transit has already canvassed the system cleaning drains, removing trash and making repairs. 

New York City Transit has dispatched additional cleaning crews to keep the track areas free and clear of any debris that could clog drains and allow a build-up of water significant enough to stop service.

“We depend on forecasting services to give us a heads up when inclement weather is heading our way and then we are able to effectively deploy the personnel and equipment needed to keep service moving,” said Senior Vice President of Subways Joseph Leader.

Even without rainfall, NYC Transit pumps more than 13 million gallons of water from the underground portions of the system.

For the times when weather conditions or a tapped out water main adversely affect the system, NYC Transit maintains a trio of pump trains capable of evacuating 300 gallons of water from the system every minute.  The Track and Infrastructure Division also has a fleet of portable pumps, some with a pumping capacity of 600 gallons per minute.

One of the historic problem spots has always been the 148th Street Yard in Harlem.  Situated steps away from the Harlem River and FDR Drive, heavy rains often combined with high tide to flood the yard and, at times, even wash into the subway portal. 

To combat the problem, a new sea wall was erected and roadway drains from the FDR Drive were rerouted and directly connected to the sewer.  DEP sewer manhole covers were replaced with bolt-down covers to prevent displacement when the sewer becomes overcharged, and a sewer diversion chamber was rehabilitated (by DEP) and bolt down covers installed.