After The Flood Comes The Freeze: "Tens Of Thousands Need Housing" Says Cuomo, As Nor'Easter Approaches
First the flood, now the freeze (and the lack of fuel and gas and heating just making it much worse). And for tens of thousands of residents of New York and New Jersey this means that as many as 40,000 will need to find alternative housing, especially ahead of Wednesday when a Nor'easter formation is expected to hit the Tristate area and bring even more freezing rain and cold to the region. From Reuters: "Tens of thousands of people affected by superstorm Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather descends on the state of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday. Cuomo, in a televised press conference nearly a week after the storm hit the U.S. East Coast, said the fuel shortages are improving but problems will persist for "a number of days."" Elsewhere, and also from Reuters: "Victims of superstorm Sandy on the U.S. East Coast struggled against the cold early on Sunday amid fuel shortages and power outages even as officials fretted about getting voters displaced by the storm to polling stations for Tuesday's presidential election. Overnight, near-freezing temperatures gripped the U.S. northeast. At least two more victims were found in New Jersey, one dead of hypothermia, as the overall death toll from one of worst storms in U.S. history climbed to at least 112. Fuel supplies continued to rumble toward disaster zones and electricity was slowly returning to darkened neighborhoods after a storm that hit the coast last Monday. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it would be days before power is fully restored and fuel shortages end."
All of this will be exacerbated as a Nor'easter moves along the Eastern Seaboard and is expected to hit New Jersey and New York in several days:
A "significant" nor'easter is likely to hit Sandy-battered areas of the Northeast by Thursday, the National Weather Service said in an update Sunday.
FEMA and Red Cross officials have ordered more resources ahead of the storm, while New York City is dealing with a shortage of fuel oil and steam to heat buildings as temperatures began dipping into the 20s and power remained out for hundreds of thousands.
At the very least, the service's prediction center stated, there is "a very real possibility of heavy rain and strong winds along the coast from Virginia to Maine."
Snow is likely in the interior and some models "do bring some snow all the way to the coast as far south as Virginia," it warned.
That all of this is happening two days ahead of the presidential election is merely adding to the chaos:
President Barack Obama, neck-and-neck in opinion polls with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, ordered emergency response officials to cut through government "red tape" and work without delay to help affected areas return to normal.
Officials have expressed concern about getting voters displaced by Sandy to polling stations for Tuesday's election. Scores of voting centers were rendered useless by the record surge of seawater in New York and New Jersey.
New Jersey is allowing voters displaced by Sandy to vote by email. Some voters in New York could be casting their ballots in tents.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday found that 68 percent of those surveyed approved of how Obama handled Sandy and just 15 percent disapproved.
"I'm not thinking about the election too much right now," said Frank Carrol, 59, a retired New York City transit worker who lives in Staten Island. He planned to vote, but did not know if his local polling station would even be open. "We'll stop by and see what happens," Carrol said.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ordered county clerks to open on Saturday and Sunday to accommodate early voters and ensure a "full, fair and transparent open voting process."
And while most appear content with the crisis response to date, with the apex being Mayor Bloomberg's cancellation of the marathon due to massive popular outcry (we are confident all those who spoke up are now taking part in the recovery efforts), the DOE just announced that 25% of New Jersey is still without power. This led to Martial Law being declared in the town of Seaside Heights which has been totally destroyed, as we showed in the Hurricane Sandy before and after satellite pics.
We expect more regions of NJ to be declared uninhabitable in the coming days as the situation continues to deteriorate.