- Rain on Thursday plagued the evening commute for millions of New York City straphangers.
- Floodwater inundated many stations, including Grand Central, causing train delays.
- For decades, the MTA let drains clog with debris and is only now beginning to undo the mess.
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For decades, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority let sludge build up in thousands of storm drains throughout the city’s more than 600-mile subway system.
Despite recent efforts to clean out the buildup, the clogged drains were on full display on Thursday as a rainstorm crippled massive chunks of rush-hour subway service.
“Trains are bypassing Grand Central 42-st in both directions because water from heavy rainfall is leaking into the station,” read one service alert during the evening commute on Thursday.
Leaking appeared to be a bit of an understatement. In the mezzanine above the busiest transit line in North America, buckets did little to catch a deluge of rainwater pouring into the station, one of the most crowded in the entire system.
— Brian (@HNICBrian) June 20, 2019
A little while later, Andy Byford, head of New York City Transit for the state-run agency, showed up to help employees try to clean up the mess.
Spotted: Pres. Byford “putting some muscle into it” earlier this evening after a water leak at Grand Central. pic.twitter.com/WG17dzxE5C
— Sarah Meyer (@SarahMeyerNYC) June 20, 2019
But at other stations across the city, commuters delicately worked their way over – and through – some deep and disgusting puddles.
— Rick (@SubwayCreatures) June 21, 2019
In Brooklyn, a certifiable waterfall drenched most of a station platform.
— DJ TOMMY T (NYC) (@DJTOMMYT) June 21, 2019
— PattyHughes™INC. (@PattyHughes) June 21, 2019
i love nyc. it will always be my city. there is a small hole in my heart where nyc and the atlantic ocean belong. but oh my GOD the footage of what the rain has done to the subway today!! no thanks!!
— Chesty Copperthot (@boreazepam) June 21, 2019