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LIRR says service restored for Monday as Tropical Storm Henri moves out

Long Island Rail Road workers try to free

Long Island Rail Road workers try to free a downed crossing gate blocking William Floyd Parkway in Shirley as Tropical Storm Henri drops rain across Long Island on Sunday. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

The Long Island Rail Road plans full service in time for the Monday morning rush, after shutting down trains in much of Suffolk County Sunday because of Tropical Storm Henri.

On Sunday evening, the LIRR announced that it anticipated "restoring full regular weekday service on Monday morning … across all parts of the railroads," including east of Ronkonkoma and of Patchogue, where service was suspended since Saturday night.

"Tropical Storm Henri tested our resilience and perseverance today — but it was no match for our talented and hardworking employees and management," LIRR president Phillip Eng said in a statement. "Because of the strategic planning, preparation, and actions taken today while braving the elements, we were able to mitigate the effects of the strong winds, heavy rain, and uncertain tidal surges."

The LIRR also said it would add service early Monday morning on its Montauk branch to "assist customers who may have had their travel plans affected by the storm." Full schedule information was available at mta.info.

Earlier Sunday, the railroad said service would not "resume until we have checked our infrastructure and determined it's safe to do so." Service remained "on or close" to schedule on the LIRR’s other branches throughout the day, except for the Port Washington branch, which was undergoing planned track work.

Despite largely sparing rail and bus systems, Tropical Storm Henri caused major headaches for airline travelers, especially those flying out of Long Island MacArthur Airport.

At MacArthur, 15 departing flights had been canceled by around 1 p.m. on Sunday, or about 93% of the airport’s departures, according to website flightaware.com, which tracks flight cancellations.

Twenty-three percent of flights at LaGuardia Airport were canceled Sunday, according to Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton, while 11% were canceled at JFK International Airport, and 22% of flights at Newark International Airport also were suspended.

Cotton said additional cancellations and delays were anticipated, depending on rainfall and wind later Sunday. The good news, Cotton said, is that New York City airports are not expected to experience major flooding, thanks to barriers constructed after Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE, said, as of noon Sunday, its buses "continue to run on time without any cancellations." Suffolk County Transit bus service was suspended all day Sunday, and was scheduled to resume Monday morning.

511NY, a state service that tracks traffic issues, reported various incidents on Long Island’s roadways, including flooding on the eastbound Northern State Parkway that caused one lane to be closed near exit 41. A disabled vehicle on the northbound Sagtikos State Parkway blocked the entrance ramp at exit S2.

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