On January 23rd, we experienced a strong storm with high winds. The wind was so strong that it knocked out the overhead high-powered catenary wires providing power to NJ Transit trains traveling north/south of Newark. I heard it happened around 3 or 4 pm.
All northbound and southbound train traffic for the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Lines were out of service for hours during the rush hour commute home for thousands. I tried to catch a bus home in the rain, but buses were either crowded or hard to come by. I eventually received a notification that service was back up, and I eventually made my way via the PATH train to Newark.
I encountered absolute chaos.
Platform entrances were closed, easily hundreds of commuters were jam-packed in with no clue what was going on. People shouting at other people to get out of the way. NJ state troopers were on hand doing their best to manage the confused throngs of people. Can you imagine if this was a true crisis? Zombie apocalypse, large-scale terrorist attack, natural disaster, you name it. As soon as a small disruption occurs, absolute chaos.
By the time I got upstairs to the train platform for Tracks 3 and 4, and caught a train, it had been an hour. Although I eventually caught the next train, it was stuck on the tracks for another hour, then slowly proceeded south. Thankfully, I was home before midnight.
What a mess.