A new storm that threatens to complicate Sandy cleanup efforts this week now looks like it will be weaker than expected, but officials in New York and New Jersey are still taking precautions ahead of the windy, wintry mess.
New York City, Long Island and Westchester County are under a high wind warning from 2 p.m. Wednesday until 4 a.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service said.
Mayor Bloomberg said police officers would be making announcements over public address systems in coastal areas, warning residents of the possibility of flooding, and urging them to evacuate. He also said parks, beaches and playgrounds would be closed at noon Wednesday.
Hundreds of nursing home residents in the storm-battered Rockaways are also being evacuated ahead of a storm expected to bring more bad weather to the region.
More than 620 people live in the three nursing homes and an adult care center. None of those nursing homes had been evacuated for Sandy.
Health officials say the homes are already running on emergency generators. They are worried about first responders in the neighborhood being stretched too thin.
Some 91,000 homes and businesses are still without power in New York City.
With the temperatures dropping into the 30s overnight, people in dark, unheated homes were urged to go to overnight shelters or daytime warming centers.
New Jersey Gov. Chris warned residents who have recently had power restored that they might lose it again.
"We're going to take a step back," he said.
Christie said Tuesday morning he's not ready to close the barrier islands, but said he'll consider options once he receives a new briefing on the nor'easter later in the day.
United Airlines has canceled most service to and from Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports from noon Wednesday to noon Thursday. Customers ticketed on any of the canceled flights may reschedule for travel originating no later than Nov. 15 at united.com.
Several inches of wet snow may accumulate in central and northern New Jersey, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley late Wednesday afternoon into the evening, making for a potentially sloppy evening commute.
Computer models shifted east with the path of the nor'easter, predicting the storm would miss a good part of far northwest New Jersey, the Catskills and the Poconos and carry far less forceful wind gusts than first forecast.
Meteorologists say coastal flooding is still possible with the system at times of high tide, but wind gusts will level off in the 50 mph range, not the 60 mph to 70 mph range, and waves are not expected to tower as high over already eroded beaches and waterfront properties pummeled by Sandy.
Forecasters say waves up to 10 feet high could still cause minor to moderate flooding along the coast, where dunes decimated by Sandy have left the already water-logged shore more vulnerable.
The snowy mix is expected to change to rain Thursday night as temperatures rise into the mid-30s. The weather begins to improve by Friday, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-50s. The situation looks even better by the weekend, with forecasters predicting mild, sunny weather with a high of 55 degrees for Saturday and even warmer temperatures for Sunday.