NEW YORK— The northeastern United States is experiencing a winter storm that could cause heavy flooding, particularly for many coastal residents of New York and New Jersey who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy barely a week ago.
It is not as big as Hurricane Sandy, but gale strength northeasterly winds, along with torrential rains and snow, have created a cyclonic storm system commonly called a “nor’easter.” And that has New Jersey Governor Chris Christie concerned.
"Just when I thought I was going to start to get some more sleep, we’re going to get the nor’easter. And I think it’s going to be all hands on deck again," Christie said.
Nor’easters are not uncommon at this time of year. And Manhattan resident Hao Qian says she is prepared.
"I’m kind of expecting there is going to be a lot of flooding. That being said, I live on the Upper West Side part of the town where it is about 40 meters above sea level, so nothing is really going to happen up here. It’s just another big storm for us. So stock up on some deliveries, and I’m ready," Hao said.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has readied city agencies and residents for the storm. Police and other emergency services are on high alert, the parks are closed, all construction is halted, and residents in low-lying areas are being advised to seek refuge from an expected storm surge of one to two meters.
"We could have some snow on the ground and certainly snow on the trees. That makes the trees that already have their bases flooded more likely to fall," Bloomberg said.
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.''
Lydia Adamiszyn of Broad Channel, in the borough of Queens, is anxious about the storm. Hurricane Sandy flooded her home with one-and-a-half meters of water; her parents' home was destroyed.
"We just sort of sitting there thinking, ‘When are we gonna get a break from all this and that and we can begin the recovery and the rebuilding of our home?’ This is something that is going to add another hurdle to something that is already tough. But obviously, we were never expecting anything to be as bad as Sandy. To go into your house and see it in that state [of destruction], you’re never going to be able to shake that vision from your head," Adamiszyn said.
"New Yorkers are survivors," said one woman, while other residents said that whatever happens, New York's spirit will prevail.