Science Rules

Here’s Why Salt Water Is Delaying Your Subway Commute

(Photo: flickr.com/mtaphotos)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it became clear that the MTA’s worst fears were realized: not only were many of the subway tunnels flooded, but they’d become inundated with salt and brackish water scooped up in the storm surge and funneled into the subway system.

The MTA has gotten parts of the system in Manhattan and Queens up and running, but pumping water out of stations dotted around Brooklyn along the East River will take some time. Seven subway tunnels beneath the East River have flooded, leaving switches and signals “likely damaged.” MTA chairman Joseph J. Lhota said in an earlier press conference that the subway system “has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night.” Read More