THAN 5,000 PEOPLE SUCCESSFULLY EVACUATED FROM PATH
TRAINS FOLLOWING POWER OUTAGE
August 15, 2003 Press Release Number:
Authority Facilities Gradually Returning to
Normal on Friday; Airports Assisting
Passengers Stranded By Regional Blackout More
than 5,000 people were successfully evacuated
from 17 PATH rapid-transit system trains
stranded by Thursday's regional power outage.
Normal PATH service resumed Friday morning
after the blackout cut power to trains
throughout the Port Authority's rail system
connecting New York and New Jersey –
including 12 trains that were in tunnels
beneath New York and New Jersey.
PATH employees and Port Authority emergency
personnel directed an orderly evacuation
without incident. None of the thousands of
evacuees who were led to safety through the
PATH tunnels and emergency exits requested
And at the Port Authority’s airports, staff
provided cots, pillows, blankets and
bottled water for air travelers stranded in
passenger terminals overnight.
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J.
Seymour said, "I want to express our
gratitude to New York Governor George E.
Pataki, New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey
and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who
successfully coordinated efforts among state
and local agencies to restore service
throughout the region. I also want to commend
the people of this region, who pulled together
and demonstrated once again that they can rise
above any challenge." Port Authority
Chief Operating Officer Ernesto L. Butcher
said, "During the power outage, the men
and women of the Port Authority dedicated
themselves to protecting the safety and
security of our customers, and we will
continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure
the welfare of all those who use our
Limited PATH service was restored at
approximately 10 p.m. Thursday between 33rd
Street, Hoboken and Journal Square, and
Exchange Place and Newark.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal is
accommodating bus service outside the
building, at 41st Street between 8th and 9th
avenues. Bus lines are providing limited
service at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and
the George Washington Bridge Bus Station;
customers are urged to contact their carriers.
Port Authority facilities, service was
gradually returning to normal on Friday.
Arriving and departing flights continue at
John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty
International and LaGuardia airports, but
there are numerous delays and cancellations.
Travelers are urged to contact their air
carriers before leaving for the airports. The
George Washington Bridge and the three Staten
Island Bridges – the Bayonne and Goethals
bridges and the Outerbridge Crossing – have
operated normally on emergency power
throughout the outage. The Holland and
Lincoln tunnels remain open Friday, but
motorists can expect delays due to traffic
signal outages on Manhattan streets. The Port
Authority is urging motorists to avoid the
tunnels if possible.