New York has lifted an unprecedented evacuation order in place for Hurricane Irene and the New York Stock Exchange will open Monday, but New York area airports will not reopen until at least late Monday, officials said.
New York's transit system including subways that serve eight million people each weekday were closed in advance of Hurricane Irene. Also, all New York area airports were closed. But the evacuation was lifted Sunday afternoon, and the New York Stock Exchange says it will open Monday.
Still, it will be a delayed return to business-as-usual for New Yorkers while transportation systems get back into place, officials said in a briefing Sunday.
John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark airports all closed Saturday with Hurricane Irene approaching and more than 10,000 flights were canceled because of the storm across the U.S. But despite the storm's departure Sunday, service will not be resuming (Sunday), said Christopher Ward, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the area's airport and port facilities.
Ward said there could be potential beginnings of service late tomorrow afternoon at best at the airports and hopefully almost normal service on Tuesday.
American airlines, British Airways, Air France and other carriers have already called off many flights to and from Europe and Asia on Monday.
New York Mass transit chairman Jay Walder said at the news conference there had been widespread impacts to train equipment from the storm because of flooding, even if the worst case scenario of seawater flooding subway tunnels did not occur. Damage, he said, was still done.
The first service that we will be able to restore is the bus system, he said.
He declined to say when buses would return. He noted, though, that subway trains cannot run until extensive testing and checking is done of every line.
You're going to have a tough commute in the morning, Walder said, warning New Yorkers.
Officials at the Port Authority said they are still deliberating over when airports will open, and would not speculate on exact timing.