Derailments and delays continued to plague the Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road into the evening rush hour on Monday, as high winds downed trees, knocked out power and broke crossing gates throughout the region.
Metro-North said Harlem Line Service was suspended until further notice between North White Plains and Mount Kisco due to downed trees and a single rail car that derailed after hitting a tree near Hawthorne. Service has resumed from Grand Central to Wassaic, but only one of two tracks is back in service in the area of North White PLains and Pleasantville while crews make repairs.
The tree appears to have fallen on the tracks just north of Hawthorne station, off of Commerce Street. An oncoming southbound train hit the tree and shattered it into pieces, derailing the back wheels of the front car.
There were no injuries among the 200 or so passengers on the train; they were transferred to a relief train to Grand Central. A crane will be used to lift the front car so service can be restored.
One woman on the Metro-North said she was in the bathroom when the train hit the tree; she said she heard a loud screeching noise and was thrown into the wall.
"There was some screeching, a lot of rumbling," said Ingriss Chambers. "I had to hold onto something because I got thrown into the wall. It was pretty scary."
The New Haven and Danbury branches were also delayed into the evening due to downed trees. Customers should check the MTA Metro-North website Tuesday morning for the latest status on the commute.
Meanwhile, the Long Island Rail Road dealt with wind-related power outages, fallen utility poles and broken crossing gates during the evening rush hour, frustrating riders across the system. Delays averaged 90 minutes on the Ronkonkoma branch east of Hicksville, and service on the Babylon branch was suspended between Seaford and Amityville due to a fallen utility pole at Massapequa Park. Service was restored by late Monday night.
The suspensions come as meteorologists warn damaging winds with gusts as high as 60 mph are possible throughout the day Monday. The strongest winds will gust from sunrise to late afternoon.
The winds hampered the NJ Transit commute for tens of thousands of riders as well Monday, causing the suspension of two lines as gusts knocked down trees and power lines.
NJ Transit said service on the Morris & Essex line, which was suspended in both directions shortly after 6 a.m. because of a downed tree in Morris Plains, resumed around 7:30 a.m. Lingering delays were still at 20 minutes by midday.
Service on the Gladstone branch was suspended for a few hours as well because a tree fell on wires in Bernardsville. Cross-honoring was in effect.