Nor’easter dumps snow, knocks out power

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(CNN) -- First it was Superstorm Sandy, then a nor'easter that whipped the U.S. Northeast, dumping snow and zapping power lines from Delaware to Maine.

The nor'easter was perched off Massachusetts on Thursday afternoon after dumping more than a foot of snow on parts of Connecticut and adding a new layer of misery for residents still struggling in the wake of Sandy.

"The main thing is we need heat and electricity," Christine Holland, a relief coordinator In Brooklyn's Gerritsen Beach neighborhood, told CNN. Holland appealed to plumbers, electricians and boiler mechanics to volunteer their help to residents, as well as counselors for people still dealing with the trauma of last week's storm.

Thursday's temperatures were in the mid-40s in much of the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut communities ravaged by Sandy, which killed 111 people in the region and knocked out power to millions.

"Just what New Jersey needs now," said Justin Page of Montclair, about 10 miles west of Manhattan. "We have lost power where we never had before, and the winds are picking up dramatically, which is disturbing the debris left from Sandy."

About 6 inches of snow fell by Thursday morning on Newark, where Mayor Cory Booker called it "Mother Nature's one-two punch."

"It's testing the resolve and the grit of my state and my city and, obviously, this region," Booker said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

Power outages in New York and New Jersey rose from 607,000 customers Wednesday to 666,000 by early Thursday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters Thursday morning that the nor'easter was responsible for outages to 167,000 new customers. He praised utility workers who were trying to get the lights and heat back on.

"These men and women on the utility companies are working 16-hour days, every day," Christie said. "So I know that unless your power is turned on, that doesn't mean anything to you -- but I'm telling you, I've watched these people work. They were working last night through the snow."

The new storm crashed into the area barely a week after Sandy, which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday had inflicted $33 billion in damage to New York state and $50 billion to the region.

Freeport, along Long Island's southern coast, was one of the communities hit hard by the nor'easter. "This storm just made everything worse," Shanel Francis told CNN affiliate News 12. Sandy swamped her home with 4 feet of storm surge last week.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had urged residents in the city's low-lying areas -- especially Breezy Point, Hamilton Beach and Gerritsen Beach -- to "consider going someplace else" Wednesday night, "to be a little bit on the safe side."

But he issued no mandatory evacuation orders, other than for a handful of chronic-care facilities and an adult-care center in areas that were hit hard by Sandy.

"If people think you're crying wolf, the next time, when it's really a serious threat, they might not do it," the mayor said.

That was not the case in New Jersey, where the Brick Township Office of Emergency Management issued a mandatory evacuation order for all residents of low-lying waterfront areas of town.

More than a week after Sandy struck the Northeast, its death toll in New York City climbed to 41, as a 78-year-old man died Tuesday of injuries suffered in the storm, police said.

Despite the setbacks, there are signs the region is rebounding.

In New Jersey, more than three-fourths of the state's school systems were operating Wednesday, and 1,728 public schools were open in New York.

The PATH train between New Jersey and New York resumed limited service under the Hudson River on Tuesday, after being shut ahead of the storm.

Commuter traffic reopened Wednesday in the Holland Tunnel, where about 91,000 vehicles typically pass under the Hudson River between Manhattan and Jersey City, New Jersey.

Flights continued to be affected, and authorities advised air travelers to check with their carriers ahead of the storm.

"Airlines serving the Port Authority's major airports -- Newark Liberty International, John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia -- have canceled all or a significant number of their flights" through Thursday morning.

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