NEW YORK: Another strong storm is likely to hit the US East Coast on Wednesday, days after hurricane Sandy battered spots up and down the coast, especially New York and New Jersey.
Meteorologists say a bout of bad weather could bring biting wind, rain and possibly even snow to the region, which is reeling from the impact of Sandy.
The US Weather Channel said that there was the likelihood of 'very windy, rainy and cold' weather from Wednesday into Thursday in the US northeast where recovery process is underway.
The report said the new storm will not be more violent than Sandy, which left 113 people dead, caused damage worth $30 billion to $50 billion and rendered thousands of people without electricity and gas as cold weather set in.
While the precise track and timing are uncertain, substantial impacts are expected from the storm. Potential impacts from the storm could include wind gusts as high as 50 MPH, the report said.
Also, a storm surge and wave action could cause minor to moderate coastal flooding and beach erosion along the mid-Atlantic and New England coast.
The threat for coastal flooding will be primarily during the high tides on Wednesday night for the mid-Atlantic. From New York City into New England, the high tides Wednesday night and Thursday have the greatest threat for flooding.
Wet snow is expected across interior sections, especially in higher elevations. The snow is possible as far south as northern Virginia.
Meanwhile, New York is facing a growing housing crisis with tens of thousands left homeless as Sandy destroyed their homes Michael Bloomberg, New York City's mayor, estimated on Sunday that 30,000-40,000 houses in the city alone had been left unusable by the storm. "It is starting to get cold.
People are in homes that are uninhabitable," New York state governor Andrew Cuomo told a press conference.
"We are going to have tens of thousands of people who need housing solutions right away."
"This is going to be a massive, massive housing problem," the governor added. More than 200,000 meals are already being handed out each day to the elderly and other needy victims in New York. The city is urging the homeless to go to emergency evacuation centers that remain open, and temperatures hovered just above freezing on Saturday night.
Poorer parts of the city, including the Rockaway area and the borough of Staten Island, were worst hit by the storm. Bloomberg was the target of serious complaints by inhabitants when he toured those areas on Saturday.
Bloomberg called off Sunday's New York international marathon because of protests about the diversion of resources to the event, with so many residents still suffering.
Many of the 45,000 contestants nevertheless descended on Central Park on Sunday to run part of the course. About 730,000 people in New York state still do not have electricity nearly one week after Sandy hit, including 145,000 in New York City, the governor said. Nassau County, one of the wealthiest parts of the US, is now worst hit in the state, with 266,000 people still in the dark.
Nearly 1.9 million homes and businesses in the US Northeast were still without power on Sunday, barely changed from earlier in the day, nearly a week after Hurricane Sandy hit, the US Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability said in a report.
New York Gov Cuomo said that some people may have to wait two weeks to get power back and reaffirmed a vow to make sure utility companies are held "accountable".
With drivers waiting several hours in queues at gas stations to get fuel, Cuomo and Bloomberg appealed for patience and insisted that deliveries are improving. In Coney Island, New York, people waited in line for up to six hours to get some of the free gasoline that federal authorities have sent to New York to help alleviate shortages.
Many of the gasoline stations that are actually open in New York limit drivers to $30 of fuel at a time, barely one-third of a tank for some American cars. New York subways are almost back to normal and nearly all schools are to reopen on Monday.
Severe problems remain in New Jersey however. Huge lines of cars and people on foot clutching canisters snaked back from gas stations across the northern half of the state.
Starting Saturday, drivers with license plates ending in an even number were only allowed to fill up on even-numbered dates, while those whose plates ending in odd numbers had to wait for odd-numbered dates.