Riders this past week: 4,212
Rider miles this past week: 74,932
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Joy Behar was in the third car from the front of a subway train going from East Hampton to Amagansett last Thursday at 2 p.m. A whole crowd of people were happily talking to her. SUBWAY & SANDY Hamptons Subway suffered no damage from Hurricane Sandy. Perhaps this was because much of the subway, althoughmunderground, is inland, far from the water. Perhaps it was because Hurricane Sandy gave the East End just a glancing blow as it landed in New Jersey, so the big flooding and outages were elsewhere.
On the other hand, Hamptons Subway DID suffer both floods and power outages. Both were caused by an error made by an employee at our company headquarters building on Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays. At about 1 p.m. Monday, just as the hurricane was about to hit, one of our janitors, Clyde Hoskins, who has since been fired, washed out his mop in the slop sink in the basement of that building and then left the basement without remembering to turn off the water. The water soon overflowed the sink and then filled the basement, ultimately causing the electrical circuits to short out from the rising waters.
In addition, the rising waters went down the hollow pipes which contain the electrical lines and down to the Hampton Bays platform, which soon flooded, leading to further floods in all the tunnels and other platforms in the system from Montauk to Westhampton Beach.
Needless to say, as dusk fell over the East End, the flooding had shorted out all the electrical service on the system, leaving numerous trains of passengers stranded between stations. Fortunately, our intrepid subway employees, trained in what to do in the event of a power blackout and flood while the subway trains are occupied, kept all the passengers safely in the cars for the next two hours so nobody would get electrocuted by stepping on the third rail. They entertained the passengers with banjos, which are stowed under the end seats in every car, singing barbershop favorites as they have been trained to do in emergency drills conducted at company headquarters once every month.
Out in Montauk at our subway yards, which remained dry, the two diesel-powered subway cars were mobilized and sent out to, one by one, hook up with the stranded subway trains and tow them to safety at the nearest stations, where the passengers were led through the hip-deep waters to the escalators (turned off, of course) and safety. It was a magnificent thing the subway employees did.
Finally, at 6 p.m., the team of divers sent down to the basement of the headquarters building succeeded in turning off the faucet.
After that, the Hamptons Subway, helped by repairmen flown in from Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Virginia and New Hampshire, were able to make the necessary repairs and get the subway up and back running normally by 8 a.m. on Wednesday.
This year the subway system will, for the first time, have a Christmas tree to rival in size the one at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. A giant spruce, 55 feet high and currently growing in a farmer’s meadow in Canada, will be chain- sawed down and trucked to our Southampton Station—our busiest station—and erected on the subway platform on November 15. Because of the low ceilings at the subway platform, it will be cut up and erected in sections.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
We greatly regret the interruption of service this past week and apologize to our passengers. Go Giants.