SYOSSET - The Long Island Rail Road has begun to shut down as Hurricane Sandy barrels its way up the East Coast.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials say they hope the shutdown won't last long, but say they cannot make any promises until the storm hits.

MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota says service should be up and running 12 hours after the storm ends, but that is contingent on how much power and water damage the railway experiences.

While the MTA's bridges are still open, closures could come if winds hit sustained speeds of 60 mph.