New York Gov. Kathy Hochul pledges to investigate subway system after 'unprecedented' 5-hour shutdown forced passengers to self-evacuate from tunnels

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Yahoo! Voices 30 August, 2021 - 11:03am 30 views

Power surge snarls subway service in NYC

PIX11 News 30 August, 2021 - 03:00pm

Hundreds of Subway Riders Evacuated After Power Surge Shut Down Service On Eight Lines

Gothamist 30 August, 2021 - 07:23am

"Let me be very clear, last night was unacceptable. If you're one of those riders, the system failed you," she said outside of MTA headquarters in Manhattan on Monday morning. And, hours later, she sent a press release announcing that the "MTA uncovered a sequence of failures that resulted in some backup systems not providing power as designed last night, including an additional failure to quickly diagnose the underlying cause."

Hochul has now directed the MTA to hire two independent engineering firms to "assist in a thorough deep dive of what happened and make recommendations to ensure this does not occur again," according to a statement from her office.

In many parts of the city, lights flickered around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. According to WABC 7, Con Ed says that a manhole fire in Long Island City also caused the MTA's power issue, which occurred around the same time.

Power was restored to the eight lines at 1:20 a.m. Monday; the governor said that it could have been restored by midnight, but they needed to inspect all the tracks and make sure no one was still in the tunnels, being evacuated.

About 550 people were evacuated from the trains, including five that were stuck between stations ( two trains were stuck in the Harlem River tubes). No injuries were reported.

One passenger told PIX 11, "They made us exit out the rear of the train…We [were] walking on the side of the track. It was dark…I had to use my phone to light up the way for my wife and me."

Hochul said she is calling for an investigation into what happened, "We need to know why the system broke down and why."

She added, "The MTA is the lifeblood of this city... Thank God it was a time of low ridership, it was on a weekend night. I can't imagine if this happened during a morning commute."

Apparently, the subway lines lost power at 8:25 p.m., and a battery-powered backup system managed to keep it operational for about 45 minutes. Even though there are two emergency generators designed to automatically replace the battery power in cases of power outages, the generators failed to turn on—and the MTA's alert system failed to send alerts that the back-up generators weren't working, making subway managers think the subways were on generator power. The batteries then ran out at 9:14 p.m., causing the disruption.

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