Another intense storm swirled into the tri-state Wednesday evening, bringing high winds and a wintry mix of rain and snow that caused major commuting problems and further tormented residents who lost power and were flooded out by Sandy.
The nor'easter brought down tree limbs and electrical wires, and utilities in New York and New Jersey reported that nearly 60,000 customers who lost power because of Sandy lost it all over again as a result of Wednesday's storm.
Icing shut down a part of the Long Island Expressway for several hours. Weather-related problems forced the Long Island Rail Road to temporarily stop trains and close Penn Station to new customers for more than an hour, delivering even more misery to Long Island commuters, who were already dealing with crowding issues after Sandy.
At about 8 p.m. Wednesday, limited eastbound service resumed from Penn Station and Atlantic Terminal, but hour-long delays persisted. The railroad's Penn Station ticket area, which had been temporarily closed, has reopened.
Here's what you need to know:
NEW YORK CITY AND SUBURBS
- Coastal areas of the city will see more rain, while Manhattan and the Bronx will get more of a snowy precipitation.
- Through the evening, heavier snow falls from Manhattan to points west, while Queens, Brooklyn and Nassau County will see a mix of snow and rain. A slushy 2 inches of accumulation is possible, especially on grassy surfaces, with sloppy roads and wind gusts of up to 55 mph.
- Overnight, the snow diminishes and winds decrease to around 40 mph gusts. Temps will be in the 30s.
- New York City schools will be open Thursday for all of the city's 1.1 million students, including students from 43 schools that suffered damage during Sandy and another 13 that still lack electricity. Students from those 56 schools have been relocated to other schools. Most of the new school assignments started Wednesday but some won't start until Thursday.
- Long Island Rail Road service was suspended system-wide at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday because of weather-related signal problems. Limited service has resumed, but hour-long delays persist. The rail service had already been dealing with crowding problems while operating on modified schedules after Sandy.
- The Long Island Expressway was temporarily closed in both directions from exits 40E to 41 after 5:30 p.m. because of icing conditions. All lanes are now open.
- In New York, Mayor Bloomberg ordered police to use their patrol car loudspeakers to warn residents in vulnerable areas to evacuate. Some 20,000 to 30,000 people live in those areas, he said.
- The mayor ordered three nursing homes and an adult care facility evacuated from Queens' vulnerable Rockaway Peninsula because of fears the weather might knock out electricity already being provided by generators. About 620 residents were moved.
- The city has closed all parks, playgrounds and beaches, as well as ordering all construction sites to be secured.
- Airlines at the area's three major airports had already canceled hundreds of flights in anticipation of the storm and travelers were advised to check with their carriers before heading to the airport.
- The Long Island Power Authority was reporting that more than 198,000 customers were without power, with nearly 50,000 having lost power in the new storm.
- Con Edison reported that the nor’easter knocked out electricity to approximately 55,000 customers in New York City and Westchester County. Some of those people now in the dark had skated through Sandy unscathed. Others had just gotten their electricity back. Con Ed officials say the bad weather has also slowed restoration efforts.
- Early Thursday morning, Con Edison customers without power in New York City included 21,000 in Queens, 7,000 in Brooklyn, 4,000 in the Bronx, 3,900 in Staten Island and 140 in Manhattan.
- In Westchester, 35,000 Con Edison customers were without power early Thursday morning.
- The New York State Thruway Authority is banning motorcycles and empty trailers from the Tappan Zee Bridge and reducing the speed limit on the bridge to 35 mph.
- Snow collapsed a Sandy disaster relief tent near floyd bennett field in Brooklyn. No one was hurt.
- In coastal New Jersey, heavy bands of rain spiraled onshore and moderate coastal flooding is expected, with a storm surge of 3 to 4 feet. Areas where Sandy washed away sand dunes will see flooding problems, especially during the high tide cycle. Wind gusts of up to 60 mph are expected, with temperatures in the 30s and 40s. The rain tapers off overnight, ending by 8 a.m. as wind gusts decrease to 45 mph.
- In interior New Jersey and the lower Hudson Valley in New York, heavy snow falls through the evening, accumulating up to 6 inches, with possibly higher amounts in upper elevations of New Jersey. Expect snow-covered roads, especially near rush hour. Winds of up to 45 mph are expected.
- High winds could bring down tree limbs weakened by Sandy, potentially stalling power restoration efforts or causing further outages. A high wind warning is in effect for much of the region through Thursday.
- Toms River issued a mandatory evacuation of the Barrier Island for noon Wednesday. There are voluntary evacuations of low-lying areas on the mainland.
- Middletown Township in Monmouth County has issued a mandatory 3 p.m. evacuation from Keansburg to Atlantic Highlands from Route 36 to the bay.
- Public Service Electric & Gas has roughly 241,000 outages, including 60,000 caused by the nor'easter. Jersey Central Power & Light has 197,560 customers without power, mainly in Monmouth, Morris and Ocean counties, while Orange & Rockland has 8,300 households. Atlantic City Electric is reporting nearly 9,000 customers without power.