Northeast storm coming: flights canceled and homes evacuated (+video)
Northeast storm, coming toward New York and New Jersey, will bring a 3-foot storm surge. The classic Northeast storm has already forced 360 flight cancellations by the airlines, and more are expected Wednesday.
Coastal residents of New York and New Jersey faced new warning to evacuate their homes and airlines shut down flights as a new storm took aim Wednesday, more than a week after Superstorm Sandy left dozens dead and millions without power.
Forecasters said the latest storm appeared weaker than first thought, but it still carried the threat of high winds and storm surges that could cause further damage to the already weakened infrastructure of the country's most densely populated region.
Hundreds of thousands remained without power as temperatures hit freezing at night, and finding them emergency housing — in some cases, for the long term — was the greatest challenge.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered police to use loudspeakers to warn vulnerable residents, many of them in low-income public housing, about evacuating.
"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.
Winds were kicking up Wednesday morning in New Jersey, and some battered shore communities were ordering mandatory evacuations for later in the day.
But many were deciding to stay, worried about their empty homes being looted.
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. Just under a million people were still without power in the region.