Subway Service Will Probably Remain Fucked Up for Weeks, If Not Months


Are you ready to have your hurrication crapped on, New Yorkers?

The subways, which are now full of the most disgusting rat crap and rusty scissors water you could possibly imagine, won’t likely be fully restored to pre-Sandy conditions for weeks. Maybe months. And possibly years.

That bummer of a revelation comes courtesy of The Atlantic Cities’ Eric Jaffe, who cites an analysis conducted this fall that analyzed the effects of a once-in-100 year storm event on New York’s 108-year-old subway system. The prognosis? Grim.

Based on their models, Jacob and colleagues wrote that a 100-year-storm could leave roughly 1 billion gallons of water to be pumped from the city’s network of subway tunnels. (To give you an idea of scale, that’s equal to the average daily consumption of drinking water in the city.) If all 14 tunnels flooded, it would take about 5 days to pump each one clear, according to the report. However, that’s the best-case scenario; a week per tunnel is more likely.
Immediate flood-clearing isn’t the only concern. As Ted Mann writes for the Wall Street Journal, salt water is likely to have considerable residual effects on the aging subway system. Jacob and colleagues write that equipment damaged by brackish water will at least require time to clean and could also require time for replacement. In some cases, when the parts are too old and no longer in production, it could require a completely new infrastructure.

Is it just me, or does it sound a lot like New York City is about to experience a bike boom of unprecedented magnitude? Better buy a stronger lock or learn how to ride on other peoples’ handlebars.

While he’s been cautious about getting too specific about timetables, Mayor Bloomberg has estimated that it will take at least 4-5 days before service is partially restored. And when they do open, stations will smell a lot less like piping hot pee and a lot more like Mother Nature’s barf.

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