The Associated Press
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — A nor’easter blustered into New York and New Jersey on Wednesday with rain and wet snow, plunging homes right back into darkness, stopping commuter trains again and inflicting another round of misery on thousands of people still reeling from Superstorm Sandy’s blow more than a week ago.
Under ordinary circumstances, a storm of this sort wouldn’t be a big deal, but large swaths of the landscape were still an open wound, with the electrical system highly fragile and many of Sandy’s victims still mucking out their homes and cars and shivering in the deepening cold.
The nor’easter brought down tree limbs and electrical wires, and utilities in New York and New Jersey reported that some customers who lost power because of Sandy lost it all over again.
“I know everyone’s patience is wearing thin,” said John Miksad, senior vice president of electric operations at Consolidated Edison, the chief utility in New York City.
As the nor’easter closed in, thousands of people in low-lying neighborhoods staggered by the superstorm were urged to clear out. Authorities warned that rain and 60 mph gusts in the evening and overnight could topple trees wrenched loose by Sandy and erase some of the hard-won progress made in restoring power to millions of customers.
“I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. “We may take a setback in the next 24 hours.”
Ahead of the storm, public works crews in New Jersey built up dunes to protect the stripped and battered coast, and new evacuations were ordered in a number of communities already emptied by Sandy. New shelters opened.
In New York City, police went to low-lying neighborhoods with loudspeakers, urging residents to leave. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn’t issue mandatory evacuations, and many people stayed behind.
“We’re petrified,” said James Alexander, a resident of the hard-hit Rockaways section of Queens. “It’s like a sequel to a horror movie.”
All construction in New York City was halted. Parks were closed because of the danger of falling trees. A section of the Long Island Expressway was closed in both directions because of icy conditions.
Airlines canceled at least 1,300 U.S. flights in and out of the New York metropolitan area, causing a new round of disruptions that rippled across the country.
The city manager in Long Beach, N.Y., urged the roughly 21,000 people who ignored previous mandatory evacuation orders in the badly damaged barrier-island city to get out.
Forecasters said the nor’easter would bring moderate coastal flooding, with storm surges of about three feet possible Wednesday into today.
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