President's Message About Blizzard of '09
To Our Customers
December 23, 2009
This has been a difficult week at the LIRR for many of our customers as we recovered from the blizzard of ’09, which dumped a record amount of snow on Long Island. While the LIRR continued to operate during the storm, some of our customers experienced significant delays on Sunday and Monday.
Please know that hundreds of LIRR employees worked around the clock before, during and after the storm to keep the Railroad operating. They cleared the third rail of snow, kept switches moving, cleared platforms and parking lots of snow and ice in very challenging conditions. We did our best to keep customers informed of ever-changing conditions via the news media, station and onboard announcements, our website and our email alert system (which I urge you to sign up for at www.mymtaalerts.com).
Tens of thousands of customers made it safely to their destinations Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Unfortunately, one eastbound train early Sunday morning became stranded east of Wyandanch during the blizzard. The LIRR has begun a full-scale review of the circumstances involving this incident. As part of our standard procedures, MTA Police were notified of the stranded train Sunday morning and responded to the scene. Preliminary information shows customers were informed of the problems with the train via crew announcements. No customers self evacuated from the train. The customers onboard were greatly inconvenienced and the LIRR apologizes for the experience they encountered. While no injuries were reported among the customers or the crew and all were safely transferred onto another train at Farmingdale under extremely difficult blizzard conditions, we must do better. Our review will seek to develop a strategy that better protects our customers. Safety is always the LIRR’s top priority.
Thank you for your patience during and after this storm. If you experienced a late or canceled train due to the weather, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. As the winter gets underway, please remember to take extra care to step over the gap when exiting or entering a LIRR train and be careful of ice on platforms and stairs.
We appreciate your patronage of the LIRR and wish you a good holiday season and a Happy New Year!
Helena E. Williams
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