The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 7, 2012

Sandy-battered NYC, NJ prepare for new storm

NEW YORK (AP) — Residents of New York and New Jersey who were flooded out by Superstorm Sandy waited with dread Wednesday and heard warnings to evacuate for the second time in two weeks as another, weaker storm spun toward them and threatened to inundate their homes again or simply leave them shivering in the dark for even longer.

In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered police to use their patrol car loudspeakers to warn vulnerable residents about evacuating, one of a number of measures that the beleaguered city was taking even as weather experts said Wednesday's nor'easter could be weaker than expected.

"Even though it's not anywhere near as strong as Sandy — nor strong enough, in normal times, for us to evacuate anybody — out of precaution and because of the changing physical circumstances, we are going to go to some small areas and ask those people to go to higher ground," Bloomberg said Tuesday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency put a number to the storm's homeless in New York and New Jersey, saying 95,000 people were eligible for emergency housing assistance. In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, more than 277,000 people have registered for general assistance, the agency said.

In New Jersey, winds were kicking up Wednesday morning and some battered shore communities were ordering mandatory evacuations for later in the day.

While New York City officials strongly encouraged storm-ravaged communities to seek higher ground, some refused, choosing to stick close to the belongings they have left.

And weather experts had some relatively good news. As the storm moves up the Atlantic coast from Florida, it now is expected to veer farther offshore than earlier projections had indicated.

Storm surges along the coasts of New Jersey and New York are expected to reach perhaps 3 feet, only half to a third of what Hurricane Sandy caused last week. While that should produce only minor flooding, it will still likely cause some erosion problems along the Jersey coast and the shores of Long Island, where Sandy destroyed some protective dunes.

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