New storm spurs town evacuation order
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NEW YORK -- A New Jersey shore town ordered evacuations, while the New York governor said he is considering them, as a new storm threatened gales, rain and flooding today in the northeastern area just hit by Hurricane Sandy.
The nor'easter may barrel up the coast, bringing peak winds of 65 mph and a storm surge as high as four feet, said National Weather Service meteorologist Lauren Nash in Upton, N.Y.
In Brick Township, N.J., Mayor Stephen Acropolis ordered evacuation for waterfront areas by 6 p.m. Tuesday. Those farther inland whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy were "strongly encouraged" to leave, according to a notice on the town website.
New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie said there was a small chance that other New Jersey shore residents may need to evacuate. "We don't expect huge storm surges, at least nowhere near what we got with Hurricane Sandy," he said Tuesday in Westwood. "What I'm worried about inland is the loss of power. We might lose ground on that."
Sandy knocked out electricity to 8.5 million homes and businesses across 21 states after hitting the coast Oct. 29. About 916,000 remain in the dark in New York and New Jersey, where temperatures are near freezing, according to estimates from Mr. Christie and New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The evacuations in Brick were ordered locally, Mr. Christie said, and he has no current plans to expand the zone of those to be removed from low-lying areas. That decision may change as the storm's path and severity become more clear, he said.
In New York, Mr. Cuomo ordered utility companies not to release workers who have come from across the United States and Canada to help repair downed lines in case the approaching nor'easter causes further damage. About 350,000 New Yorkers remained without power as the new storm threatened to knock down more wires, flood coastal areas and further disrupt the gasoline supply, Mr. Cuomo said.
"We're on storm watch," the governor said Tuesday at a Manhattan news conference. "We've had little good news, but we live by the adage of prepare for the worst and hope for the best."
There was one glimmer of hope: Forecasters told state officials Tuesday morning that the new storm may move farther out to sea than initially expected, lowering the risk for high winds and tides, state director of operations Howard Glaser said at the news conference.
"If that's true, that would be very good news," Mr. Glaser said. "However, we are preparing for potential impacts."
First Published November 7, 2012 12:00 am