RESIDENTS IN THE US states of New York and New Jersey are set to evacuate coastal areas for the second time in as many weeks, as a second major storm threatens to batter the north-east of the United States.
The warning comes as a second storm – unrelated to Superstorm Sandy, and significantly weaker than it – prepares to strike the coast.
New York major Michael Bloomberg has ordered police to use their loudspeakers on their patrol cars to broadcast evacuation messages, as the storm makes it close to landfall later tonight.
“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 last night.
“Everyone has major anxiety after what we just experienced a week ago,” said resident Anthony Ferrante, whose house is less than a thousand feet from the Staten Island shoreline. “I think everybody’s freaked out about what happened.”
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.
In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, more than 277,000 people have registered for general assistance, the agency said.
Winds in New Jersey have already begun to pick up, and some communities along the shore have ordered mandatory evacuations for later in the day.
Atlantic County, in the southern part of New Jersey, activated its emergency operations centre and told residents to renew their stocks of emergency supplies.