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Railroads, transit agencies and local governments along the East Coast have begun prepping for heavy rains resulting from Hurricane Joaquin, which is expected to move northward through the Atlantic Ocean over the coming days.Yesterday, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials announced preparatory measures being taken across New York City's subway system, including filling sandbags, preparing and distributing generators, ensuring vehicles are fueled, and scheduling staff members.If the storm continues toward New York City, the MTA can deploy covers for the 540 openings into the subway system in Lower Manhattan, agency officials said in a news release.Additionally, MTA crews have installed large sand bags at the Coney Island Yard. The agency's two commuter railroads — Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad — are monitoring electrical grids and substations "with heightened awareness," agency officials said."It is too early to say whether the railroads would need to suspend service if a powerful storm strikes our region," MTA officials said. "If flooding is predicted, the railroads would move trains away from low-lying storage areasMeanwhile, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey also announced that it had begun severe weather preparations, including positioning nearly 4 miles of flood barriers to protect transportation facilities. Additionally, the port is ready to deploy 170 generators and pumps to ensure service continues.At the same time, Norfolk Southern Railway yesterday issued a service alert to customers about potential service disruptions. "Weather advisories have been issued reporting potential heavy rainfall and widespread flooding in many low lying areas throughout the East Coast," NS officials said in the service alert. "Norfolk Southern will monitor operations closely and take every precaution to protect shipments that may be affected in these areas."
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