By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
New York City is rushing to get Hurricane Sandy sufferers into warm dry buildings before a nor'easter hits the area Wednesday afternoon as predicted. The National Weather Service predicts freezing temperatures on Tuesday and a "significant" coastal storm arriving Wednesday afternoon.
For Brooklyn, NOAA says residents should expect "strong, gusty winds, rain/ wintry precipitation, coastal flooding and additional beach erosion."
Weather Underground's Brian Norcross – who nailed Hurricane Sandy – calls the storm a "soaking nor'easter."
"People in New Jersey, New York, and southern New England that are stuck without heat are going to need help to get through this week," he writes on his weather blog. While the current forecast calls for minor coastal flooding and winds that could cause more power problems, "The biggest threat is the cold, wet, and windy weather's impact on people that are not prepared to deal with more misery. We need a big effort. There are a lot of folks and there's a lot of misery."
Con Edison reported more than 100,000 New York City residents still without power late Monday, with roughly 24,000 in Brooklyn.
The company said they hope to have those without power back online by this weekend – but warns that high winds and heavy rains from the nor'easter could delay work and could cause additional outages.
Mayor Bloomberg said Monday that electricity was still out at 114 buildings at public housing projects housing 21,000 people. However, some buildings with power still lack heat and hot water -- 174 buildings housing 35,000 people.
The upcoming nor'easter "makes our work more difficult and more urgent – which is why today I've designated 'community restoration directors' we're calling them to deal with the immediate human needs of people recovering from Sandy's effects," Mayor Bloomberg said Monday. "These community restoration directors are seasoned, high-level managers in our administration that I have enormous confidence in – their ability to manage, their ability to reach out, their ability to get resources from all parts of our administration."
Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Nazli Parvizi will oversee efforts in Brooklyn, the Mayor said. "They'll be responsible for identifying urgent needs and deploying resources to meet them."
"Since Saturday night we've maintained shelters where people living in areas without power can stay and get warm. If you're living in a building without heat, and you're elderly, or have an infant under a year old, or have heart disease or other medical conditions, you should get to a warm place.
"Or if you find somebody shivering uncontrollably, or if you see someone who is disoriented, those are the symptoms of hypothermia. Hypothermia can be fatal and anyone who has these symptoms needs to get to a warm place as quickly as possible." Call 3-1-1 to find the closest shelter, the Mayor advised.