NEW YORK: A new storm roared into New York and New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon with snow, sleet, rain and strong winds, plunging homes right back into darkness and stopping commuter trains again as thousands of people are still reeling from Superstorm Sandy's damage.
National Weather Service forecasters say the storm doesn't have the destructive power of Sandy which killed more than 100 in United States 'East Coast' cut power to 8.5 million homes and flooded the New York metropolitan area and New Jersey coast.
But it's still dangerous, threatening potential storm surges to coastal areas recovering from Sandy's flooding onslaught. New York and New Jersey airports had already canceled more than 1,700 flights through Wednesday, causing a ripple of travel disruptions around the country.
Exactly as authorities feared, the new storm brought down tree branches and electrical wires, and utilities in New York and New Jersey reported that nearly 60,000 customers who lost power because of Sandy lost it all over again as a result of the nor'easter.
As the storm closed in, thousands of people in low-lying neighbourhoods staggered by the superstorm just over a week ago 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.
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 neighbourhoods with loudspeakers, urging residents to leave.
But Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't issue mandatory evacuations, and many people stayed behind, some because they feared looting, others because they figured whatever happens couldn't be any worse than what they have gone through already.
All construction in New York City was halted a precaution that needed no explanation after a crane collapsed last week in Sandy's high winds and dangled menacingly over the streets of Manhattan.
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.