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Here Are the Stunning Before and After Pics of New York Subway System Damaged by Sandy


"Our subway system and salt water do not mix."

(Image: MTA New York City Transit/David Henly)

The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority has been stellar at keeping video and photo documentary of the damage caused to its system by Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast 10 days ago.

The MTA recently released a comparison picture of its signal equipment showing not only what water damage can do but, more specifically, what salt water damage can do.

Salt water damaged equipment compared to pristine signaling equipment. (Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Deirdre Parker)

Another piece of salt-water damaged equipment. (Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Deirdre Parker)

Salt water corrosion seen in relay components. (Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Deirdre Parker)

Here's what the Wall Street Journal wrote last week about the damage salt water can have on the subway system:

The subway system is "in jeopardy," MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said Monday. "Our subway system and salt water do not mix."

Salt can eat at motors, metal fasteners and the electronic parts, some many decades old, that keep the system running. Salt water, and the deposits it leaves behind, degrades the relays that run the signal system, preventing train collisions.

Salt water also conducts electricity, which can exacerbate damage to signals if the system isn't powered down before a flood.

South Ferry Station was one of the hardest hit by Sandy. Here are a couple pictures of the station in lower Manhattan before the storm:

(Image: Wikimedia)

(Image: Wikimedia)

And couple pictures of the damage to the South Ferry station after:

(Image: MTA New York City Transit/David Henly)

(Image: MTA New York City Transit/David Henly)

Check out this video of from the MTA of its South Ferry & Whitehall stations pumping operations:

In addition to being notoriously corrosive to metal components, Fox News reported that concrete is also highly susceptible to salt water:

In addition to eating into the metal reinforcements used inside concrete architecture, it can penetrate concrete and slowly break it down, leading to weakness and instability that may emerge years later. Likewise with bricks, mortar, and plaster. If a structure is repeatedly exposed to saltwater flooding, as can occur along the coastline of a storm-prone area, it can start to develop serious structural problems that could lead to collapse.

As of this posting, according to the MTA service advisory, is operating normally on most lines but due to the nor-easter, there are some weather-related delays. Even with the trains moving, there are also delays in terms of speed and how many cars are going through due to repairs that are continuing to be made.

(H/T: Gizmodo)

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