Big mess on LIRR

August 23, 2010 2:05:08 PM PDT
What's the great David Byrne line about "things fall apart, it's scientific."

It is indeed a wild wild world for folks trying to get home tonight on the busiest commuter railroad in the country.

The Long Island Railroad (LIRR) is and has been virtually shut down for much of this day.

I suppose it's good it's happening in the last full week of August - one of the slowest commuting weeks of the year for the greater New York Metro area. Otherwise, tens of thousands of additional commuters would be affected.

As it is, there are scores of thousands who will have a tough time getting home tonight. Ten of the 11 LIRR lines have been inoperative, thanks to a fire at a switching facility at the Jamaica station. How long it lasts remains uncertain, at least for now. There is a slow recovery underway late this afternoon, but the delays and backups will last for some time.

And there's a dizzying puzzle of what commuters should and shouldn't do and where they can get LIRR connections. You can CLICK HERE to get the latest on our website.

We have reporters covering the story from all the commuter hubs, tonight at 11.

We're also following a controversial federal court ruling late this afternoon, that stops, through a preliminary injunction, federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research. The research, with so many people and health care organizations relying on new breakthroughs, has long angered religious fundamentalists, who believe that stem cell research condones abortions.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg with his AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa (in for Liz Cho) and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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