This afternoon, I want to remind everyone that the effects of Hurricane Irene continue to pose dangers on roadways up and down the East Coast. Flash flooding, for example, has been reported throughout many states, particularly in Vermont. And downed trees and power lines plague communities from the Carolinas to New England. So if you're driving in one of the areas affected by this storm, please proceed carefully.
I also want to follow President Obama's lead in saying, "Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and those whose lives have been affected by the storm."
And I want to let readers know that tens of thousands of people have been working hard in the aftermath of this storm to clear roads, reopen runways, and restore rail and transit service.
The workers in state and local departments of transportation who have been on the job for days clearing roadways of debris, downed trees, and flood conditions deserve a big “Thank you” from all of us. And let's add to that list of those who deserve our thanks the men and women who are doing similar tough work for airport authorities and transit agencies.
Unfortunately, New Jersey's Teterboro Airport has experienced flooding and remains closed. Passengers should visit panynj.gov/airports for Teterboro updates. And travelers can always check fly.faa.gov for the latest on airport operations nationwide.
Amtrak service in the Northeast Corridor has resumed from Washington to New York, but the New York to Boston line is still closed.
In the Washington, DC, area, despite many area power outages, WMATA's Metrorail and Metrobus service opened and is operating as usual today. Some buses may need to take detours around blocked roads, but for the most part commuters are getting where they need to go as usual.
And in both coastal Wilmingtons--North Carolina and Delaware--WAVE and DART buses, respectively, are operating normal schedules.
Even in the hard-hit area of eastern Virginia, Hampton Roads Transit has its light rail and bus service up and running in and around Hampton, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. Congratulations, HRT!
In Philadelphia and New York City, transit services have also been largely restored, but both cities report that some routes, including all MTA Metro-North service, remain suspended. Travelers should consult SEPTA and MTA websites for updated service alerts. And in New Jersey, NJ Transit is still largely closed, except for its Atlantic City-Philadelphia line.
While not everything is back to normal, America's transportation workers are doing a great job in getting us on our way, and I hope you'll join me in thanking them for their service. And, again, if you’re driving today on affected roadways, please use extra caution. Getting there is important, but not as important as getting there safely.