NY1 Transit Reporter Tina Redwine filed the following report on an exclusive visit to the South Ferry 1 subway station, which the MTA says may take the longest to put back in operation.
When Hurricane Sandy slammed into Lower Manhattan, it pushed millions of gallons of salt water into the South Ferry station the last stop on the number 1 line. It flooded the tracks, filled the station and backed up the stairs to the turnstiles on the mezzanine level, and because it's the last stop, the water had nowhere else to go.
As soon as thje storm passed, crews began the massive job of bringing the station back. .
But the MTA says the tracks and platforms remained submerged for a solid week.
"The damage here exceeded our worst expectations," said Frank Jezycki of NYC Transit Infrastructure.
The tracks are dry now and crews are assessing the damage from the salt water to see what can be rehabilitated and what has to be replaced.
"It's overwhelming, the amount of work that needs to be done," Jezycki said.
All the systems were affected. Rust is everywhere, including on one escalator brake rotor. Stainless steel benches and stairs can be scraped and painted. The platforms look OK, but the guts of the system are another story. Electronics have to be dried out, tested and replaced if necessary. Motors have been taken out and are being worked on.
The dispatcher's office, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment is destroyed.
The MTA says it's tough on its workers who have to handle the after effects of Sandy while continuing to maintain and run the subway system as usual.
"We're really stretching our resources when we have to put into work to do this level of restoration work," Jezycki said.
But there are factors outside their control, like getting replacement parts or replacing entire systems.
"The elevators and escalators are a long lead time," Jezycki said.
The South Ferry station was newly renovated just a couple of years ago. The MTA says it's going to take months and millions to reopen.