Residents check on their boats on Shore Road in Babylon...

Residents check on their boats on Shore Road in Babylon as Irene moved through the area. (August 28, 2011) Credit: James Carbone

Trains will run Monday, and so will the subway.

Bridges and tunnels and airports will reopen.

But, as of 5 a.m. Monday, the Long Island Power Authority said more than one-third of all customers remain without power in Nassau and Suffolk — all, as the metro area continues to assess the damage caused by Irene.

Officials warned Monday those without power could remain without power for days.

The Long Island Rail Road said morning rush-hour service will be restored on the Babylon, Huntington, Ronkonkoma and Port Washington branches, as well as the Hempstead and West Hempstead branches.

However, service remains suspended on the Far Rockaway, Long Beach, Montauk and Oyster Bay branches.

Service also remains suspended on the Port Jefferson branch and east of Ronkonkoma. And on the Port Washington branch, service is suspended east of Great Neck, with half-hourly service west of Great Neck.

The New York City Transit system, which also suspended all service Saturday and Sunday because of the storm, said service will resume “with limited exceptions” across all of its lines as of 6 a.m. Monday.

The Port Authority said LaGuardia Airport, Kennedy and Newark-Liberty, which all suspended operations at noon Saturday, are expected to resume normal operations Monday.

Kennedy and Newark will reopen at 6 a.m., LaGuardia at 7 a.m., officials said.

Officials said Long Island-MacArthur Airport, which also suspended operations before reopening at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, also expects to return to a normal flight schedule Monday.

However, 178,506 customers remains without power in Nassau Monday morning, while LIPA was reporting an additional 236,032 outages in Suffolk.
The hardest hit areas were Hempstead (81,998), Brookhaven (58,978), Oyster Bay (43,384), Huntington (42,124), Smithtown (30,991) and Babylon (22,893). The LIPA website reported crews were assessing conditions and making repairs, but did not provide estimates on when it expected service to be restored it outage areas.

In a statement posted on-line, LIPA said: “The storm caused the largest number of power outages in more than 20 years, and simply determining the extent of necessary repairs could take days. This has been made more difficult by the continuing risk of falling trees and tree limbs that pose a safety hazard for our field crews. Some areas have been completely inaccessible because of damage and flooding.”

Police and government officials urged motorists to use cautions, since electrical outages have caused traffic signals to fail in some areas. The Sagtikos Parkway is closed between the Southern State Parkway and Pine Aire Drive in Brentwood due to downed power lines.

The New York State Department of Transportation also reported that Route 25A in St. James was closed due to downed lines, while downed trees, tree branches and power lines caused the temporary closures of Route 27A in Islip, Route 111 and specific entrance and exit ramps on the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway — before being reopened Monday.

The LIRR reported early Monday that the 3:37 a.m. train from Babylon, due into Penn Station at 4:50 a.m., was the first train to operate on the Babylon Branch following the aftermath of Irene. But, officials said, customers can expect cancellations and some trains operating with fewer cars, which could lead to crowding.

The move to restore service came several hours after LIRR workers began inspecting several of its 11 branches, including the Main, Babylon and Port Washington lines, LIRR spokesman Sam Zambuto said.

Six hundred railroad workers were deployed throughout the system, many armed with chain saws, to begin the time-consuming process of clearing storm debris from North America's largest commuter railroad. Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Jay Walder said repairs were hampered by strong winds.

Among LIRR crews' discoveries, Zambuto said, were trees down on "all four tracks between Jamaica and Penn Station" and a LIPA pole on tracks in Deer Park. Fallen trees also blocked tracks in Little Neck, Amityville and Massapequa.

"We may continue, and probably will continue, to find more trees and other items that may need to be cleared or repaired," Zambuto said.

The LIRR also began reinstalling gates at the nearly 300 crossings that had to be secured or removed, and inspecting rail yards with the goal of returning equipment that was moved to higher ground during the storm. Walder said he expected MTA buses, including Long Island Bus in Nassau, to be up and running soon.

MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said there was no timeline for the restoration of LI Bus service. Suffolk County Transit bus service will resume Monday, officials said.

Amtrak, too, is working to restore its service along the East Coast following widespread suspensions that began Friday. Amtrak has already canceled some of Monday's trains out of New York that were bound for Charlotte, N.C., Savannah, Ga., Tampa, Fla., and Miami.

"Engineering teams are reporting areas of flooding, debris on tracks, and power issues," Amtrak said in a statement.

With Sarah Crichton, Keith Herbert and Jennifer Maloney

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