Snow covers the ground in Central Park after a nor'easter
struck with high winds and heavy precipitation in many of
the same communities affected by Hurricane Sandy, in New
York. REUTERS/Chip East
New York City and much of the US Northeast has dug out
from a snowstorm that hammered a region still struggling to
recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.
The unseasonably early winter storm dumped more than 30cm of
snow on parts of Connecticut and slapped the region with
80kmh winds, plunging hundreds of thousands of homes and
businesses back into darkness and creating a new commuting
nightmare for a region whose transportation system was
already under repair.
Bitter cold, rain, snow and powerful winds added to the
misery of disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or
power was knocked out by Sandy, which smashed ashore on
October 29 and caused widespread flooding.
"God hates us!" the New York Post said in a front-page
headline. Some 8 to 15cm of snow fell on the city, which
awoke to dry weather.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo fired the state's emergency
management chief, Steven Kuhr, for sending government workers
to Kuhr's Long Island home to clear a tree toppled by Sandy,
according to media reports.
Some 715,000 homes and businesses in the region were without
power, an increase of nearly 43,000 from Wednesday night
after the nor'easter knocked power out to more customers
following those who had lost power due to Sandy, the U.S.
Department of Energy said.
"I thought I was lucky when power was restored last Thursday,
but last night it went out again," said Michael Platt, 49, an
electrician from Toms River, New Jersey, who estimated a foot
of snow fell in his area. "The kids have been home for nearly
two weeks and I'm not working, and when I'm not working I'm
not making any money. This hasn't been easy."
The storms battered New Jersey's shore, a summer tourist
haven where hundreds of beachfront homes were destroyed by
Sandy's record storm surge.
'ENOUGH IS ENOUGH'
Sandy's death toll in the United States and Canada reached
121 after New York authorities on Wednesday reported another
death linked to the storm in the hard-hit coastal
neighbourhood of the Rockaways, a barrier island facing the
"Can you believe this? Enough is enough," said Cindy Casey,
whose Belle Harbor home one block from the beach in the
Rockaways was swamped by Sandy, as she looked out at the snow
blanketing the neighbourhood devastated by flooding and fire.
Sandy surrounded Casey's home with 2m of water and sparked a
fire that destroyed at least 20 houses in the neighbourhood
before stopping short of her own.
"I said, 'I'm going to die,'" said Casey, who does not know
how to swim but vows to learn. "It was non-stop. I just felt
hopeless. There was nothing I could do. ... At least I still
have a house."
New York and New Jersey evacuated the most vulnerable coastal
areas ahead of the nor'easter storm.
New York City officials urged people whose homes have been
flooded by Sandy to relocate to the homes of friends or
family members or to go to city shelters. The city also
distributed space heaters and blankets to residents without
heat or power and opened shelters to those in need of a warm
place to sleep.
Commuter bus and train services had been disrupted by the
storm, with the Long Island Rail Road briefly shutting down
all operations to the city's eastern suburbs on Wednesday
All of the region's major airports experienced canceled
flights and delays on Wednesday due to the storm, and
gasoline remained in short supply. Four companies told the
United States they intended to take advantage of a rare
waiver allowing them to use foreign-flagged ships to
transport oil products to the storm-hit region.