Today’s news:

MTA makes $65M request to feds over Irene damage

Long Island Rail Road crews right a utility pole on the Far Rockaway Branch following Tropical Storm Irene last year.
TimesLedger Newspapers

The MTA reported it has finished submitting claims totaling $65 million for damage from Tropical Storm Irene a year ago.

Irene caused heavy flooding and wind damage when it smashed through much of the area served by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Aug. 28, 2011.

The MTA has submitted damage claims to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance companies.

FEMA usually reimburses about 75 percent of approved costs. Insurers have already made $5 million in advanced payments.

Metro-North Railroad was the heaviest hit, with catastrophic washouts on its Port Jervis Line, which runs west of the Hudson River. The Ramapo River inundated miles of tracks.

The city Transit Authority’s claim for losses was $22 million, including $8 million in overtime pay in preparing for the storm.

The MTA said it lost $14 million in fares by briefly shutting down subways and buses, which was unprecedented in the history of the city transit system.

“MTA employees in the field worked tirelessly, both to minimize damage in preparing for the storm and to make the repairs needed to restore service as quickly as possible,” said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota. “Completing this massive task in less than a year is a testament to their dedication.”

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at or phone at 718-260-4536.

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