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MORE THAN 5,000 PEOPLE SUCCESSFULLY EVACUATED FROM PATH TRAINS FOLLOWING POWER OUTAGE

Date: August 15, 2003  Press Release Number: 106-2003

Port 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 medical attention.

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 facilities."

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.

At other 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.
http://www.panynj.gov/pr/pressrelease.php3?id=390

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