Preparing for Hurricane Earl
LIRR is working closely with emergency officials in New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties on hurricane contingency plans. In developing those plans, a consensus was reached among MTA, LIRR and area emergency officials that at some point during a storm's approach, safety concerns dictate that in order to protect our customers, employees and Railroad assets it may be necessary to suspend railroad service and "hunker down" for the brunt of the storm. This so-called "zero hour" would come when storm winds reach a sustained speed of 39 MPH.
Depending upon a hurricane's size and forward speed, "zero hour" could come up to 24 hours before the actual worst part of the storm hits our area. That's why it is important for our customers to heed official storm warnings, especially those concerning evacuations. Some flood and storm surge prone areas have official evacuation plans that begin as much as 72 hours before the actual landfall of a hurricane, when the weather may still be quite calm.
We urge our customers to please pay attention to official evacuation notices and be aware that the LIRR may not be available for last-minute evacuations. Customers are advised to check our website and monitor news media and traffic and transit reports for LIRR service advisory updates.
In preparation for the storm, the LIRR is carefully monitoring the track of the storm. We are ensuring that all equipment necessary to deal with the after-effects of the storm are ready to go – chain saws for clearing downed trees, pumps for flooding areas, identifying locations and availability of replacement supplies for replacing damaged utility poles and crossing gates. LIRR vehicle fuel tanks have been topped-off in readiness.