1. Home
  2. Press Releases
  3. MTA Prepares for Heavy Rain and Strong Winds Forecast to Start Thursday Evening into Friday

MTA Prepares for Heavy Rain and Strong Winds Forecast to Start Thursday Evening into Friday

Updated December 22, 2022 3:30 p.m.

Crews Clearing Drains, Preparing Equipment, and Strategically Pre-Positioning to Respond Quickly to Any Instances of Flooding or Other Weather-Related Challenges 

MTA Bridges and Tunnels to Implement Ban on Empty Tractor-Trailers and Tandem Trucks from 8:00 p.m. Thursday to 8:00 p.m. Friday 


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that it is taking precautions to deliver safe and reliable service notwithstanding heavy rain, strong winds, and the risk of flooding beginning Thursday evening into Friday evening. 

The MTA reminds customers to stay alert for service updates by visiting new.mta.info, TrainTime app, or the MTA’s social media feeds as people begin to travel ahead of the holiday weekend. 

MTA Bridges and Tunnels 

MTA Bridges and Tunnels will ban empty tractor-trailers and tandem trucks beginning at 8:00 p.m. Thursday through 8:00 p.m. Friday. Pedestrian walkways at the Cross Bay Bridge and Marine Parkway Bridge will be closed during this same time period; pedestrian walkways at the RFK Bridge and Henry Hudson Bridge may close depending on weather conditions. 

Bridges and Tunnels personnel are checking all flood-prone locations for debris and will continue to monitor throughout the storm. Personnel will also monitor wind conditions and implement appropriate traffic or speed restrictions, if necessary, based on conditions. 

Maintenance teams are on standby throughout the storm to respond to any incidents or emergencies. 

New York City Subway 

New York City Transit is strategically pre-positioning weather response teams, including track and signal specialists, at key locations to respond to any weather-related events that may occur. Crews are preparing and fueling three trains capable of high-capacity pumping, two trains designed for debris clean-up, and additional emergency trucks and emergency response equipment – including track pumps and chainsaws. 

To reduce the likelihood of flooding and respond to any instances of flooding that do occur, crews will inspect drains in flood-prone areas to ensure they are functional, and supervisors will monitor flood-prone locations for any reports of flooding to ensure a quick response. Elevator and escalator specialists will deploy to flood-prone locations to attend to any weather-related elevator and escalator issues. 

New York City Buses 

MTA personnel will monitor routes for known flooding situations, and have detours prepared. Extra personnel will be on standby in the event of service disruptions or subway shutdowns. 

All bus facilities will have roof drains checked and ensure they are clear of debris and any loose materials will be secured. Emergency generators are being checked and will be ready in the event of a power outage. 

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad 

The MTA’s commuter railroads are pre-positioning crews and diesel locomotives to be in position to minimize service disruptions.   

Additional personnel will be added this afternoon through the overnight hours to identify and quickly address possible track, signal and power challenges caused by flooding, washouts, downed trees and other potential storm damage. Personnel will survey and clear drainage areas where necessary, fortify key locations, and look for trees requiring removal as well as any track structures requiring attention.  

Railroad crews have equipment on hand to be able to respond quickly as conditions warrant – chainsaws for clearing downed trees, pumps in the event of flooded areas, identifying locations and availability of supplies for replacing damaged utility poles and crossing gates.  

The railroads have worked aggressively to proactively protect infrastructure, tackling poor drainage locations, improving vegetation management adjacent to tracks and strengthening and replacing utility poles, among other actions.