Impending Nor'easter May Threaten 'Sandy' Recovery
As residents of the East Coast of the United States are still attempting to recover from the damage left by the tumultuous Superstorm Sandy, worrying reports have emerged that a nor’easter is taking shape and will likely threaten the same regions pummeled by the notorious “Frankenstorm.”
Rain will start to move in early Wednesday and will gradually become heavier, according to meteorologists. As the day goes on, the weather will get worse, with temperatures hovering in the 40s, which is particularly troubling news for the approximately 1.2 million people who are still without power.
The primary concern from the nor'easter—defined by the National Weather Service as a strong low-pressure system with powerful northeasterly winds blowing in from the ocean ahead of the storm—is the impact it could have on the ravaged Jersey Shore, as coastal flooding and beach erosion are possible.
"When it rains, it pours. When it storms, you get more storms I guess," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Under normal conditions, the nor'easter wouldn't be problematic, he said, but because many areas are still picking up the pieces from last week, it could cause fresh havoc.
"It's going to impact many areas that were devastated by Sandy," said Bruce Terry, the lead forecaster for the National Weather Service. "It will not be good."
Some communities were considering again evacuating neighborhoods that were hit by Sandy and where residents had only recently been allowed to return.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided against a new round of evacuations.
"When Sandy was coming in, all the signs said that we were going to have a very dangerous, damaging storm, and I ordered a mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas, something that a lot of people don't like to hear," he said. "In this case, we don't think that it merits that. It is a different kind of storm; the wind is coming from a different direction."
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urged residents to take the storm seriously. "Everything people did to get people ready for Sandy, we need to do for the nor'easter," she said. "We have people who want to stay in their homes," Napoletano added. "We know that."
The timing of Hurricane Sandy compounded with news of a nor’easter has also presented voting problems, as the United States braces to elect a new president.
"I cannot think right now about voting (in Tuesday's presidential election)" said one resident, according to CNN. "I don't even know where to go if I wanted to vote."
To help with such concerns, Cuomo signed an order Monday allowing affidavit voting, which means that voters registered in a federally declared disaster county will be permitted vote at any poll site in the state by signing an affidavit. "We want everyone to vote. Just because you're displaced doesn't mean you should be disenfranchised," the governor said.
Voters in some New York counties may get an extra day to cast ballots if disruptions caused by Sandy prevent enough citizens from voting, a state official said Sunday.
New Jersey announced that residents displaced by Sandy can vote in Tuesday's elections via e-mail or fax, the first time citizens of the state have been allowed to vote electronically.