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Metro-North Trains Remain Stopped Due to Damage

This is your news center for updates on Metro-North and highway closures, as well as United Illuminating power outages throughout the region.

[Editor's note: For information about how your specific town is preparing for and handling Hurricane Sandy, click on one of the following links: Stratford, Shelton, Trumbull, Milford, Orange, Bethany and Woodbridge, Hamden]

Update at 11:25 a.m.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority released this alert at 11:12 a.m.

Metro-North train service remains suspended due to the severity of Hurricane Sandy and its impact on our service territory.  Metro-North is assessing damage to our right-of-way and other critical infrastructure.  Trees are down and there are signal and power outages throughout the territory, as well as damage from flooding. Our goal is to restore as much service as possible when it is safe to do so.

Update at 9:35 a.m. on Oct. 30

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and utility officials are traveling the state this morning, assessing the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy and determining which areas were hardest hit and need the most help first.

In a morning briefing on the storm Malloy said “We took a big hit over the past few days and … now it’s our jobs to get people's lives back to normal as quickly as possible.”

William Quinlan, a senior vice president for CL&P, said more than 600,000 customers were without power at the height of the storm last night but the utility was able to restore electricity to 135,000 of them by this morning.

He said the company couldn’t yet give an estimate of when power will be restored to all of its customers and is beginning work this morning on assessing the damage to its power system.  There are 11 transmission lines that were taken out by the storm and officials will be using a helicopter today to get a look at the damage. United Illuminating currently has about 144,000 of its customers without power.

Malloy said the hardest hit areas of the state were the shoreline, from Greenwich to Stonington.

One of his other tasks this morning, he added, is to assess whether some people are still stranded or trapped by water in their shoreline homes, which Malloy said some refused to leave last night.

He also defended his decision, at 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday, to call an urgent briefing where he said he feared thousands might be trapped in their coastal homes because they either refused to leave or their community leaders did not issue mandatory evacuation orders, as Malloy had requested.

- Eileen McNamara

Update at Oct. 29, 10:25 p.m.

Hurricane Sandy has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but conditions remain dangerous throughout Connecticut. Heavy winds and flooding along the shoreline – along with widespread outages – are expected to persist throughout the night.

At a press conference tonight, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said thousands of people who refused to evacuate their homes could be trapped along the Long Island Sound. 

Update at 5:05 p.m.

United Illuminating has temporarily stopped above ground repairs in the field due to winds of more than 40 mph. 

"Service is being suspended in general," Michael West Jr., UI spokesman:
"It is a requirement for our crews not to work above ground when the wind succeeds 40 mph."

Power outages across UI's coverage area of lower Fairfield and New Haven Counties remain scattered. 

Total outages in Easton, North Branford and Woodbridge range from 30-40 percent. Orange is at 13 percent and the rest of UI’s area is in the single digits. 

Update at 2:55 p.m.

Thousands of United Illuminating customers in Fairfield and New Haven Counties are without power, according to the utility’s outage map.

The hardest-hit municipalities include Woodbridge (55.7 percent out), Easton (87.7 percent), Fairfield (31.2 percent) and North Branford (32.3 percent).

Update at 1:15 p.m. 

During a noontime briefing on Hurricane Sandy today, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said some of the most dire predictions that the state believed would occur by now have not, Malloy said.

For instance, the storm surge in Long Island Sound in Bridgeport was about 10 inches below what officials had expected because the hurricane’s winds shifted and were not as bad as forecasted.

That means United Illuminating, which provides power to that part of the state, did not have to shut down a large power substation there.

And while there were already hundreds of residents without power as of noon today, Malloy warned that the worst of the storm is still to come.

Update at 8:20 a.m. on Oct. 29

All Metro-North services, along with public transportation in New York City, remain suspended according to the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

According to the MTA website:

The MTA Hurricane Plan calls for suspending service hours before the approach of winds of 39 mph and higher. That gives MTA crews time to prepare rail and subway cars, buses, tunnels, yards and buildings for the storm, then return to safety. Winds of 39 mph and higher are predicted to reach the metropolitan region during the predawn hours Monday.

Sunday, Oct. 28

The following statement was released by the MTA:

Metro-North's storm preparation has begun and regular train service will continue through Sunday, October 28.

Metro-North will suspend all train service beginning at 7 PM on Sunday, October 28  due to the expected severity of Hurricane Sandy and its impact on our service territory.
 
Shutting down the system allows Metro-North to secure and protect its equipment and infrastructure from the hurricane force winds and flooding expected to hit the territory on Monday, October 29.

The shutdown will be as orderly as possible and early enough so that all trains enroute will be able to complete their runs.

Grand Central Terminal and all outlying Metro-North station buildings will be closed for the duration of the service suspension. All Connecting Service will also be suspended.

For the safety of our customers, those needing to travel are encouraged to do so as soon as possible and not wait until the last minute.

Customers can also contact the Metro-North Customer Information Center by calling 511, the New York State Travel Information Line, and say: Metro-North Railroad.  If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider for the free 711 relay to reach Metro-North at 511. For customers outside New York State, call toll free 877-690-5114.

The following is a list of the last trains that will operate on Sunday before the system-wide suspension: 
 
New Haven Line
-7:07 PM train from Grand Central to New Haven arriving at 8:59 PM
-7:10 PM train from Grand Central to Stamford arriving at 8:17 PM
-6:53 PM train from New Haven to Grand Central arriving at 8:44 PM
-7:03 PM train from Stamford to Grand Central arriving at 8:09 PM
 
New Canaan and Waterbury Branch customers: all branch line train service will end with the last train operating prior to the 7 PM suspension.

Substitute bus service is currently being provided on the Danbury Branch until further notice due to Hurricane preparations.

The last Amtrak trains to operate on the New Haven Line will be 7:05 PM Acela out of Penn Station, NY and the 7:18 PM southbound out of New Haven.
 
 

David Chesler October 29, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Any word on Greyhound into New Haven? (In particular I was going to pick someone up last night, but he stayed in Massachusetts since the schools are closed here. MetroNorth wouldn't have been available Union Station to Milford, but I don't know if Greyhound is refunding/exchanging the ticket.)
Anthony Karge October 29, 2012 at 02:47 PM
It looks like Greyhound has suspended most of its services in the northeast, but there's no mention of the buses out of Massachusetts. http://www.greyhound.com/en/servicealerts.aspx
Cynthia Connor October 29, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Orange Patch says: "The hardest-hit municipalities include Woodbridge (55.7 percent out), Easton (87.7 percent), Fairfield (31.2 percent) and North Branford (32.3 percent)." These numbers are way too high according to UI's outage info on their web site. For instance, at 4 p.m. UI is reporting just over 7% of Easton is out - yet you're reporting 87.7% out? Very shoddy reporting.
Anthony Karge October 29, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Hi Cynthia, outage numbers fluctuate quickly and at the time of publication (2:55 p.m.) those were indeed the numbers reported on the UI website. I will soon be doing an update on the latest numbers. Thank you for reading.
tony rivera October 30, 2012 at 09:50 PM
still no power in stratford been with out pwr for 16 hrs and counting.
tony rivera October 30, 2012 at 09:52 PM
still no word on when pwr will be restored
Daniella Ruiz November 02, 2012 at 11:49 PM
have seen countless train loads of fresh railroad ballast stones being moved southward on the NECR track system. there must have been some major loss of rail stability all along the southern CT shoreline circuit. this is another reason for implimenting the central ct high speed corridor away from the vulnerable low lying shorer areas. http://www.railamerica.com/railservices/necr.aspx
Douglas DeNunzio February 20, 2013 at 01:39 AM
around for a number of different reasons.

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