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Holy Tornado, Brooklyn! Reader Jeanne just emailed us with this observation:

I live in Kensington, Brooklyn and I think that a tornado just passed through. Have you heard any news about a tornado from anyone else? Around 6:30am there were heavy rains, thunder and lightning when all of a sudden the wind got really loud and we could hear stuff smashing into the house. It was all just 30 seconds or so but now there are trees down all over the block.

Check out this photograph she sent as well! If you're in an area where trees have been knocked down, be careful - there may be downed electrical wires, too. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Brooklyn, Staten Island and parts of Queens. We're hearing some buildings' roofs have been blown off in Brooklyn - the FDNY is evacuating them.

This morning's thunderstorms have mostly moved out of the area to the east (towards Nassau County), but they drenched the area, which means one thing: Flooding, and lots of it in the subways. Check out the MTA's subway and bus alerts, as well as ones for LIRR and Metro-North (well, when the MTA.info site is actually working - seems to be overloaded now). Expect delays across all lines of the subway system - be patient.

NYC Transit Authority's Paul Fleuranges even told NY1 that riders should wait an hour, if they can, so the NYCTA can get the water pumped out (on a normal day, the NYCTA pumps out 13 million gallons of water), "Today is the day you give us time to get the subways dry." Roadways are also flooded - slip those galoshes on.

Let us know how your commute was and if there are any subways to avoid or to reconsider.

This is a photograph from muuuusic on Flickr, showing commuters looking for ways to get to work because the Times Square subways weren't working.

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Share your photographs, either by tagging them "gothamist" on Flickr or emailing them to photos(at)gothamist(dot)com .

Update 4:40PM:
The MTA just sent us their service plan for the evening rush, which seems more like what will be running...maybe (we can't access the service alert for NYC Transit - everyone's probably trying to figure out how to get home!):

Posted on:8/8/2007 4:40:23 PM

Due to severe flooding throughout the subway system earlier today, there are still extensive delays on some subway lines. We are working to restore full service to all the affected subway lines. This is the current status of subway operations:

- 1 train service is running.
- 2 and 3 train service is running.
- 4 and 5 train service is running .
- 6 train service is running.
- 7 trains are running local only.
- A train service is running.
- B train service is running.
- C train service is running.
- D train service is running.

Service on the Queens Blvd corridor is not expected to return to normal for this evening's rush hour. Currently:
- E Trains are operating in two sections, World Trade Center - Queens Plaza and Parsons Archer - Roosevelt Ave.
Shuttle Bus service is available between Queens Plaza and Jackson Hts - Roosevelt Ave
- F trains are suspended in both directions between the 21st Street - Queensbridge Station and the Jamaica - 179th Street Station.
Shuttle Bus service is available between 21st Street - Queensbridge F Station and Queens Plaza E Station
Shuttle Bus service is running from the 179th Street - Hillside f Station to the Sutphin Blvd. - Archer Avenue E Station
- G trains are suspended in both directions between the Long Island City - Court Square Station and the Bedford - Nostrand station.
G train service is operating between Bedford - Nostrand and 4th Avenue - 9th Street Station.
Shuttle Bus service is available from Bedford - Nostrand G Station to Long Island City - Court Square Station
- V trains are suspended in both directions between the 2nd Avenue Station and the Forest Hills - 71st Avenue Station.
Jamaica-bound customers can also take the Long Island Rail Road to Jamaica Station, and transfer to buses or the e train. The Long Island Rail Road is honoring MetroCard.

- S Franklin Avenue Shuttle service is running.
- S 42nd Street Shuttle service is running.
- J train service is running.
- L train service is running.
- N train service is running.
- M train service is running.
- Q train service is running.
- R trains are operating between Bay Ridge - 95th Street and Astoria - Ditmars Blvd Station.
- W trains are suspended in both directions between the Astoria - Ditmars Boulevard Station and the Whitehall Street Station.

Governor Spitzer and MTA CEO Lee Sander held a press conference this afternoon to discuss the subway issues. The MTA was taken back by the intensity of the storm and that drainage issues (which we take to mean city drains in conjunction with MTA drains) contributed to problems. the Daily Politics reports, "Spitzer said some three inches of rain fell in about an hour, overloading a system designed to handle 1.5 inches of rain per hour, in spite of improvements made following a 2004 storm - but also by smoke and wind (a large tree that fell across the tracks knocked out the B and the Q)." Spitzer ordered a review of the MTA's drainage system to take place within 30 days and Sander said, ""I am genuinely sorry that we were not able to inform people as best as we can."

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Photograph by js wright on Flickr

And a reader sent us this depressing update from the MTA about LIRR service:

Due to severe weather earlier today, eastbound NYC Transit customers from the Queens Boulevard subway lines are expected to use LIRR service and/or buses. The LIRR will cancel and combine some trains to provide capacity for dedicated shuttle trains stopping at Penn Station, Woodside, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Jamaica. Specific announcements will be made at Penn Station. Additional NYC Transit and LIRR personnel will be assigned to key locations to provide customer assistance. See www.mta.info for specific information or read below.

Customers at Penn Station will experience numerous track changes and are advised not to descend to the platform until their train has been posted. Customers should expect lines and delays. LIRR staff and MTA Police will regulate the flow of customers onto trains, but expect
crowding.

If possible, customers should stagger their work hours to avoid travel at peak times.

Good luck with the evening commute. Tell us how it went.

Update 8:30AM:
Via a kind reader who copied the 8:09AM update from the MTA website, which seems to be down, probably due to traffic (MTA, please upgrade your servers for more bandwidth!):

Posted on:8/8/2007 8:09:25 AM

Due to severe flooding throughout the subway system, there are extensive delays on all subway lines. Customers are advised when at all possible to use bus service. The detours are as follows:

The R train is running on the N line in both directions between the Canal Street Station and the DeKalb Avenue Station.

There is no 1 train service in both directions between the Van Cortlandt Park-242nd Street Station and the South Ferry Station.

There is no 2 train service in both directions between the Wakefield-241st Street Station and the Brooklyn College-Flatbush Avenue Station.

There is no 3 train service in both directions between the Harlem-148th Street Station and the New Lots Avenue Station.

There is no A or C train service in both directions between the Euclid Avenue Station and the Jay Street-Boro Hall Station.

There is no E train service in both directions between the World Trade Center Station and the Jamaica Center-Parsons-Archer Station.

There is no F train service in both directions between the Jamaica-179th Street Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

There is no F train service in both directions between the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue Station and the Jay Street-Boro Hall Station.

There is no 4, 5 or 6 train service in both directions between the 149th Street-Grand Concourse Station and the Borough Hall Station.

There is no L train service in both directions between the Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway Station and the 8th Avenue Station.

There is no 42nd Street Shuttle S train service in both directions between the Times Square-42nd Street Station and the Grand Central-42nd Street Station.

There is no J train service in both directions between the Jamaica Center-Parsons-Archer Station and the Broadway Junction Station.

Astoria-bound N trains are running on the D or M lines from the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue Station to the 36th Street Station.

Nuts: We're hearing that ESU needs to use a boat to rescue a woman on a flooded street who is going into labor!

Update 9:57AM:
NYCT's Paul Fleuranges just told NY1 that the NYCT is slowly coming back and they hope it'll be ready for the rush hour - evening rush hour, that is. We hope. He said the NYCT should be able to do better, but they are trying to do everything they can. Here's the update below and a screenshot (click to enlarge):

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Due to severe flooding throughout the subway system, there are extensive delays on all subway lines. Customers are advised when at all possible to use bus service. The detours are as follows:

There is no V train service in both directions between the 2nd Avenue Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

There is no W train service in both directions between the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard Station and Whitehall Street Station.

There is no Franklin Avenue Shuttle s train service in both directions between the Prospect Park Station and the Franklin Avenue Station.

There is no G train service in both directions between the Long Island City-Court Square Station and the Smith-9th Street Station.

The R train is running on the n line in both directions between the Canal Street Station and the DeKalb Avenue Station.

There is no 1 train service in both directions between the 14th Street Station and the South Ferry Station.

There is no 2 train service in both directions between the Penn Station-34th Street Station and the Brooklyn College-Flatbush Avenue Station.

There is no 3 train service in both directions between the Harlem-148th Street Station and the New Lots Avenue Station.

The A and C trains are running local in both directions between the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station and the Broadway Junction Station.

There is no E train service in both directions between the 23rd Street-Ely Avenue Station and the Jamaica Center-Parsons-Archer Station.

There is no F train service in both directions between the Jamaica-179th Street Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

There is no F train service in both directions between the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue Station and the Jay Street-Boro Hall Station.

There is no 4, 5 or 6 train service in both directions between the 125th Street Station and the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.

There is no L train service in both directions between the Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway Station and the 8th Avenue Station.

There is no 42nd Street Shuttle S train service in both directions between the Times Square-42nd Street Station and the Grand Central-42nd Street Station.

Astoria-bound N trains are running on the d or m lines from the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue Station to the 36th Street Station.

J trains are running with residual delays.

In addition, due to debris on the track at the Church Avenue Station, the B and Q trains are running on the D or N line in both directions between the DeKalb Avenue Station and the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue Station.

Please expect delays in service system wide at this time.

Update 11:22AM:
The MTA finally updated their site with new info. As many commenters have pointed out, the L is running and other service is coming back (some trains are crowded, some conductors are arguing about where trains are going, 2 hour commutes, buses crowded). Here's a screenshot (click to enlarge) and text below:

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Posted on:8/8/2007 11:14:10 AM

Due to severe flooding throughout the subway system, there are extensive delays on all subway lines. Customers are advised when at all possible to use bus service. The detours are as follows:

There is no 1 train service in both directions between the South Ferry Station and the 34th Street Station.

There is no 2 train service in both directions between the Penn Station-34th Street Station and the Atlantic Avenue Station.

There is no 3 train service in both directions between the New Lots Station and the Harlem-148th Street Station.

There is no 4 train service in both directiions between the Utica Avenue Station and the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall Station.

5 trains are running shuttle in both directions between the East 180th Street Station and the Dyre Avenue Station.

There is no 6 train service in both directions between the 86th Street Station and the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall Station.

7 trains are running with delays.

A trains are running local.

B trains are suspended in both directions between the Brighton Beach Station and the Bedford Park Boulevard Station.

There is no C train service in both directions between the Euclid Avenue Station and the 168th Street Station.

There is no D train service in both directions between the 145th Street Station and the Norwood-205th Street Station.

There is no E train service in both directions between the 23rd street-Ely Avenue Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

There is no F train service in both directions between the Queens Plaza Station and the Jamaica-179th Street Station.

There is no G train service in both directions between the Long Island City-Court Square Station and the 4th Avenue-9th Street Station.

There is no V train service in both directions between the 2nd Avenue Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

There is no Franklin Avenue Shuttle s train service in both directions between the Prospect Park Station and the Franklin Avenue Station.

There is no 42nd Street Shuttle S train service in both directions between the Times Square-42nd Street Station and the Grand Central-42nd Street Station.

J trains are running with residual delays.

There is no M train service in both directions between the Broad Street Station and the Bay Parkway Station.

There is no Q train service in both directions between the Kings Highway Station and the 57th Street-7th Avenue Station.

There is no R train service in both directions between the 57th Street-7th Avenue Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

Update 12:10PM: (Previous updates are after the jump)
New updates.

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Posted on:8/8/2007 11:56:39 AM

Due to severe flooding throughout the subway system, there are extensive delays on all subway lines. Although buses are running with delays, customers are advised when at all possible to use bus service. The detours are as follows:

1 trains are suspended in both directions between the South Ferry Station and the 34th Street Station.

2 trains are suspended in in both directions between the Penn Station-34th Street Station and the Atlantic Avenue Station.

3 trains are suspended in both directions between the New Lots Avenue Station and the Harlem-148th Street Station.

4 trains are suspended in both directions between the 125th Street and the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall Station.

5 trains are running shuttle train service in both directions between the East 180th Street Station and the Dyre Avenue Station.

6 trains are suspended in both directions between the 86th Street Station and the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall Station.

7 trains are running with delays.

A trains are running local.

B trains are suspended in both directions between the Brighton Beach Station and the Bedford Park Boulevard Station.

C trains are suspended in both directions between the Euclid Avenue Station and the 168th Street Station.

D trains are suspended in both directions between the 145th Street Station and the Norwood-205th Street Station.

E trains are suspended in both directions between the 23rd Street-Ely Avenue Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

F trains are suspended in both directions between the Queens Plaza Station and the Jamaica-179th Street Station.

G trains are suspended in both directions between the Long Island City-Court Square Station and the 4th Avenue-9th Street Station.

V trains are suspended in both directions between the 2nd Avenue Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

S Franklin Avenue Shuttle trains are suspended in both directions between the Prospect Park Station and the Franklin Avenue Station.

S 42nd Street Shuttle trains are suspended in both directions between the Times Square-42nd Street Station and the Grand Central-42nd Street Station.

J trains are running with residual delays.

L trains are running with residual delays.

N trains are running with residual delays.

M trains are suspended in both directions between the Broad Street Station and the Bay Parkway Station.

Q trains are suspended in both directions between the Kings Highway Station and the 57th Street-7th Avenue Station.

R trains are suspended in both directions between the 57th Street-7th Avenue Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

W trains are suspended in both directions between the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard Station and the Whitehall Street Station.

In addition, due to a police investigation at the Sterling Street Station, there is no service on Wakefield-bound 2 trains between the Brooklyn College-Flatbush Avenue Station and the Atlantic Avenue Station. Also, Brooklyn College-Flatbush Avenue-bound 2 are trains running on the 4 line from the Franklin Avenue Station to the Crown Heights-Utica Avenue Station.


Update 3:33PM: (previous updates after the jump)
Here's the latest from the MTA (the screenshot is from a little earlier), and the news is that most lines are sort of-kind of back to normal, but with huge delays. We're talking crowded trains when they pull into stations and crowded platforms that make you want to turn back home. Note how the MTA recommends you try to take buses when possible.

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Due to severe flooding throughout the subway system earlier today, there are still extensive delays on some subway lines. We are working to restore full service to all the affected subway lines. Customers are advised when at all possible to use bus service. This is the current status of subway operations:

1 train service has resumed with residual delays.

2 and 3 train service has resumed service but with residual delays.

4 and 5 train service has resumed with residual delays.

6 train service has resumed with residual delays..

7 trains are running.

A trains are running local.

B train service has resumed with residual delays.

C trains are suspended in both directions between the Euclid Avenue Station and the 168th Street Station.

D train service has resumed with residual delays.

E trains are suspended in both directions between the Queens Plaza Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

F trains are suspended in both directions between the 21st Street-Queensbridge Station and the Jamaica-179th Street Station.

G trains are suspended in both directions between the Long Island City-Court Square Station and the 4th Avenue-9th Street Station.

V trains are suspended in both directions between the 2nd Avenue Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

S Franklin Avenue Shuttle has resumed with residual delays.

S 42nd Street Shuttle service has resumed with residual delays.

J trains are running.

L trains are running.

N trains are running.

M trains are running.

Q train service has resumed with residual delays.

R trains are suspended in both directions between the 57th Street-7th Avenue Station and the Forest Hills-71st Avenue Station.

W trains are suspended in both directions between the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard Station and the Whitehall Street Station.

A great map from reader Zach that captured what subways were running (around 11AM):

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An amazing photo from reader Faith of a Manhattan-bound platform of a Queens subway station (aka, the left behind):

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