1. Home
  2. Press Releases
  3. MTA Issues Update on Preparations for Tropical Storm Henri

MTA Issues Update on Preparations for Tropical Storm Henri

Updated August 20, 2021 4:00 p.m.

UPDATED: Due to the forecasted wind speeds, MTA Bridges & Tunnels is enacting a soft ban of empty and/or tandem trailers will be in effect from 11 p.m. on Saturday, August 21 through 11 p.m. through Sunday, August 22 at 11 p.m. Tractor trailers with empty and/or tandem trailers are to use alternate routes.  

Motorists should be aware additional restrictions may be put in place based on conditions. 

The pedestrian walkways on the Marine Parkway – Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge will close at 11 p.m. on Saturday August 21. The pedestrian walkways on the Robert F. Kennedy and Henry Hudson Bridges will remain open at this time, but will close when/if conditions warrant. 

The Long Island Rail Road will operate an additional westbound train from Montauk to Babylon, departing Montauk at 1:23 p.m. on Saturday, August 21. From Babylon, customers can connect to trains to westbound terminals.

New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and Bridges and Tunnels Prepare for Strong Winds and Heavy Rain


Monitor new.mta.info, MYmta App, MTA Agencies on Twitter for Latest Service Information


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today issued an update on preparations for Tropical Storm Henri which is expected to become a Hurricane early Sunday morning. The MTA is taking all necessary precautions to protect its transportation network and deliver safe service. Forecasters are predicting tropical storm force winds and rain to arrive in the New York City region as early as Sunday morning.

“We can’t control Mother Nature but we can and have been proactively tackling those things that significant weather events typically affect such as overgrown trees, utility poles, drainage and switches to mitigate impacts and provide safe travel,” said LIRR President Phil Eng. “When storms such as Tropical Storm Henri hit, we strongly advise to avoid unnecessary travel if possible but rest assured, the LIRR workforce will be out in full force to protect service and keep you safe. If you have to travel, real-time information is available through our TrainTime app, which is the best place to look for the latest travel data before, during, and after any storm.”

“The projected path of Tropical Storm Henri shows the most significant potential impacts will be to the New Haven Line. We will inspect culverts and poor drainage areas and preposition equipment and personnel as necessary so we can respond quickly to any impacts of the storm to our system, said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi. “Metro-North territory is particularly vulnerable to high winds due to trees and overhead power wires, and customers should plan for the possibility of delays and disruptions when the storm hits and check mta.info for the most up to date service information.”

MTA Bridges and Tunnels is prepared for any extreme weather that may come our way, including high winds, which pose particular concern on bridges,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Daniel DeCrescenzo.  “We will be closely monitoring wind speeds and conditions at our facilities and advise motorists to avoid unnecessary travel.”

“The safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority and we have a detailed plan in place for subways and buses as always,” said New York City Transit Interim President Craig Cipriano. “We will monitor the storm around the clock and are prepared for the strong winds and rain it may bring.”

“We are following the path of the storm closely and our crews are ready to respond to all weather-related events,” said Demetrius Crichlow, Senior Vice President of Subways for MTA New York City Transit. “We will have equipment in place to make sure trains continue to run and our riders can get where they need to go.”

The Rail Control Center and Bus Control Center are closely monitoring the storm’s progress. Crews are doing the following in preparation: 

LIRR and Metro-North have taken the following precautions: 

  • Strategic deployment of maintenance personnel including track, signal and power staff.
  • Strategic deployment of emergency equipment, such as protect engines, throughout the service territory.
  • Have additional public information officers and public address announcers on duty to keep customers informed with up-to-the-minute service information.
  • Safety messaging reminding customers to take extra caution when traveling will be made at stations, on trains and platforms, email/text alerts and social media. 
  • Long Island Rail Road is communicating with PSE&G to ensure proper coverage to protect service disruptions due to downed wires.
  • Depending upon the severity of conditions, service could be reduced or temporarily suspended.


  • Stage crews to monitor and respond to flood-prone locations.
  • Prepare crews on debris trains for supporting clean-up activities.
  • Inspect 10 track pump locations.
  • Inspect 30 drains at flood prone locations and ensure they are ready to accept water and not create any unsafe conditions.
  • Inspect 34 direct sewer connections.
  • Cover street vents at six key locations.
  • Prepare, fuel and test equipment for debris clearance, if necessary.
  • Inspect and stage emergency trucks, pumping equipment, and emergency response equipment.
  • Continue to monitor weather reports and assess any implications of storm conditions on high tides or storm surge. 

A Local Storm Desk will be activated if conditions warrant. All maintenance departments will be staffed sufficiently. Crews will perform frequent signal switch tests to ensure all signals are functioning as intended and activate weather-related precautions as needed. Non-essential repair, maintenance and construction work is being evaluated for possible suspensions if the weather warrants.


  • All depots will pay special attention for flash flooding. If flooding occurs, depots will respond and move fleets before water levels get too high.
  • Flood prone route corridors will also receive extra monitoring.
  • Ensure bus windows, hatches and doors are closed.
  • All depot parking areas and perimeters will be inspected for unsafe conditions.
  • Bus depots will have extra staff to assist in the event a bus is disabled.
  • All road trucks will be equipped with chainsaws and any other debris equipment needed.  

There will be around-the-clock staffing for maintenance, operations and customer service departments.  

Bridges and Tunnels 

  • All facilities are fully prepared and staffed for any weather-related incidents.
  • Electronic weather sensors are functional, and all facilities can monitor weather and roadway conditions.
  • Areas that have proven to be historically prone to flash flooding have been checked and crews will monitor these areas and respond to conditions throughout.
  • May implement a ban of tandem trailers and empty tractor trailers based on updated wind forecasts. Motorists should be aware that these and other restrictions may be put in place based on conditions.
  • Authority-wide equipment and supplies--including facility generators, fuel, anemometers--have been checked and are at adequate levels for response and deployment as needed.
  • All motorists should avoid unnecessary travel during the storm.

Construction and Development

Project staff continue to work with operating agencies to coordinate preparations and secure project sites.

Inspectors and project staff continue to tour project sites and ensure drainage is working, generators and pumps have been tested and that elevators under construction are raised.

For real-time service updates and information, customers may use the following options: 

  • Check mta.info or the MYmta app for updates, including modified emergency schedules. 
  • Follow @MTA and the MTA’s operating agencies on Twitter. 
  • Sign up for text message or email alerts at com.