Spring thunder-boomers pounded Tuesday’s evening rush hour, temporarily stranding thousands of commuters trying to get home.
Grand Central Terminal closed its doors ahead of the rush after the MTA halted Metro-North ahead of a storm.
The entrances to the station were closed after the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines were suspended “to ensure customer safety.”
Downed trees blocked the tracks, Metro-North posted on Twitter.
The MTA asked riders to avoid the 42nd St. terminal while they restored service to the commuter line. As the rain died down, commuters on the Hudson line between Grand Central and Croton-Harmon suffered hour-long delays.
“Earlier today Metro North began their contingency planning for what happened this evening,” MTA chairman Joe Lhota said. “It couldn’t have happened at a worse time, at the very very beginning of rush hour.”
He said that 70-mph winds ripped down trees, causing havoc up and down the line.
“It’s not just rain, it’s wind,” Lhota said. “I wouldn’t consider this a rain event. This is a wind event.”
Downed trees hit the Harlem line the worst.
“Numerous trees came down on all three lines,” the chairman said. “(Workers) immediate started to take the trees off.”
He said police closed the terminal to avoid overcrowding.
“It’s chaos obviously but I don’t know if there anything that can be done,” Marsha Smith of New Rochelle said in the station. “I don’t think I have an alternative. It’s frustrating.”
Catherine Rinaldi, president of the Metro-North, said that the service disruption was necessary for to ensure passenger safety.
“People were stopped, we kept them there for their safety because the storm was so severe and so intense we wanted to make sure that nobody was put in danger,” she said.
Karen Yang, 22, had her trip to New Haven delayed, but she took it in stride.
“I know the rain’s going pass and I know it’s going to be fine,” she said.
While Grand Central was at a standstill and packed, subway riders in Midtown fared no better.
Riders submitted pictures of heavy crowds at Times Sq.-42nd St. tunnel to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and on the Nos. 1, 2, 3 train platforms.
The Times Square tunnel to the bus terminal got so crowded that riders were reportedly turned away.
Amtrak is slowing down trains between New York and New Haven, Connecticut.
The fierce wind from the thunderstorm is causing damage around the city — and New Yorkers are there to capture it for social media.
Source: Ny Daily News