New Yorkers take hurricane Sandy travel challenges in stride
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With New York City's subway system paralyzed by Sandy's crippling blow, millions of commuters are rethinking how they will get to work this week, and they are taking it one step at a time.
The storm, which killed 23 people in New York state, closed roads and bridges and flooded tunnels, garages and rail yards, dousing the nation's largest mass transit system with saltwater, which is corrosive to its electrical system.
The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night, Joseph Lhota, chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, said in a statement on Tuesday.
He later said that water was literally up to the ceiling at downtown Manhattan's South Ferry train station.
The subway could be out of service for four or five days, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, as the authority checks the entire system for saltwater damage. Late on Tuesday, Lhota issued a statement saying the agency would be able to discuss a timetable for restarting the system by mid-day on Wednesday.
This could prompt hordes of New Yorkers to lace up their walking shoes. Some said they did not mind.
You can't go three to four days without pay, said Anthony Perrone, a 31-year-old consultant on Wall Street, who said he was planning for an hour-and-15-minute walk to work. He said he was annoyed, but noted others had suffered more.
His brother, who lives in the waterfront neighborhood of Howard Beach, lost two cars to flooding, Perrone said. I can't complain, he said.
Throughout the day on Tuesday, as the city slowly crept back to life, crews assessed the damage to the subway system's tunnels and elevated tracks. Restoring the system is likely to be a gradual process, MTA spokeswoman Deirdre Parker said.
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