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New Storm Follows Sandy’s Path, Brings Additional Flooding Concerns

It’s been little more than a week since Hurricane Sandy plowed into the northeast, causing flooding, destruction, and displacing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and businesses. Now, another major storm is quite literally following Sandy’s tracks into the region, adding an additional blow to storm weary folks who are still picking up the pieces following the hurricane.

The new storm, named Winter Storm Athena, threatens to bring additional rain and snow to the devastated area, and may cause further problems n areas where electricity has not been restored. If there is a silver lining, it is that this new storm is considerably weaker than Sandy was and will mostly be felt through coastal flooding scenarios.

The National Weather Service is predicting between 2-6 inches of snow during the latter half of the week, and the wintry mi is expected to continue for several days.  The storm surge is not expected to be as severe as it was during Sandy, The worst of the problem will be lower lying coastal areas that are already prone to flooding problems.  The biggest problems in this area are coastal defenses that were already weakened or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

If there is a silver lining, it is that this storm is striking while astronomical tides are low, whereas Sandy struck while they were at their height, meaning a greater damage potential.

Due to the coastal threat, officials in New York and New Jersey are taking proactive measures to move citizens away from the most likely damage zones related to this storm. Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for flood prone areas and some coastal communities under the threat of flooding and high winds, expected in some areas to gust to over 65 mph.

The problem presented by strong winds is the prevention of power crews who have been working to restore power to the area. As of Tuesday, about a half million homes were still without power, a problem that is likely to continue throughout the duration of this storm. While the high winds are not as much of a threat this time, snow presents its own share of problems, with the weight of snow on power lines threatening to cause even further problems for areas of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut that are still trying to recover.

This newest storm is much more typical when it comes to nor-easters that threaten the area several times during every fall and winter. They are known for their strong northeasterly winds, and they are capable of dumping massive amounts of snow as well as causing other major impacts. Hurricane Sandy was particularly destructive as she merged with two additional weather systems, including a nor’easter and a blast of cold weather coming down from Canada. This transitioned the storm from a purely tropical weather system to a hybrid nicknamed a “superstorm”, something rarely seen in severfe weather conditions.  Sandy made landfall on Oct 29.

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