New devastating storm is coming to the region already ravaged by Sandy

The view the Hurricane Sandy damage in New Jersey, on October 31, 2012. (AFP Photo / Doug Mills)
While persisting gas shortages have kept New York and New Jersey running on empty, another coastal storm is approaching, threatening to set back the already-devastated regions when it strikes on Wednesday.

Hurricane Sandy left more than 100 dead, caused $20 billion in damages, and left more than 8.5 million people without power at its peak. With many gas stations out of power or unable to transport fuel to their stations, the few that were in service hosted lines of people that sometimes stretched for miles and took hours to get through.

 “We’re a gallon away from turning into a Third World country,” New York employee Scott Sire told the Associated Press. State officials in the hurricane-affected areas, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have promised that the gas shortage would soon be resolved. But many are skeptical. Charles Johnson, 67, told the Huffington Post that city officials have been making false promises. The man has so far been unable to fill his tank with the gas he needs to drive and rescue his brother from one of the hardest-hit areas.

“They said don’t worry, tankers are coming,” he said. “I want to believe these jerks who say on TV the gas is on the way.”

NY Sen. Charles Schumer on Thursday promised that the gas shortfall would be eased “in a day or two.” But even as the New York subway reopened, the shortage has not ceased. Lines continued to snake for half a mile from the few gas stations that were open.

While the transportation problem persists, another looming threat is approaching from the coast.

The National Weather Service has predicted that another storm could hit the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday, causing additional power outages in regions that may get snow. Along the coast, the storm may be accompanied by strong winds, heavy rain, flooding, and temperature drops. A five ft storm surge could hit western Long Island.

Buildings and trees that have already been damaged and weakened by Hurricane Sandy could be further devastated by the second storm.  

Weather forecasters are most concerned about the storm hitting areas where sand dunes are now gone, thereby causing flooding in regions that are already suffering.

As temperatures drop and snow falls in Pennsylvania and the Catskills, the 157,000 Con Edison costumers who are still without power would face even harsher conditions. And without gas to drive to safer ground, Hurricane Sandy victims may be forced to stick it out a second time.