City: Athena could bring up to three inches of 'wet slushy stuff' and flooding
As snow began to fall in Brooklyn this afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned that the northeaster called Athena could deposit up to three inches of 'wet slushy stuff' and cause "major flooding" in neighborhoods hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy.
"We haven't and won't order the kind of large-scale evacuation that we did in advance of Hurricane Sandy," he told reporters in City Hall.
But he did say people who live in Hamilton Beach, Gerritsen Beach and Breezy Point "should consider going someplace tonight to be a little bit on the safe side."
New York City is under a high-wind warning through 4 am tomorrow, with winds expected to blow 25 to 40 mph, and with wind gusts of 60 mph or higher.
The mix of rain and snow will make streets slick and probably also topple trees.
The storm comes at a time when 66,000 homes in New York City still have no power.
More than half have wiring that's been damaged by flood waters.
Some homes that lost power and then reaquired it have lost it again.
Councilman Mark Weprin of Queens just reported that "400 people in my community who had finally gotten their power back Sunday just lost power."
There will also be "unseasonably cold temperatures," with wind chills in the mid 20s, said Bloomberg.
Last night, the mayor and state health commissioner ordered the evacuation of four health care facilities in the Rockaways, and today police officers made the rounds of coastal communities urging the elderly, homebound and those with infants to relocate to warmer places.
The fire department has stationed ambulances and 20 special task forces equipped with small inflatable boats, pumps, and chainsaws near neighborhoods that might flood.
"While this storm is not as dangerous as Sandy was, New Yorkers should still take safety precautions today and tonight," said the mayor.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is evacuating ten of its disaster recovery centers from coastal areas, to protect its vehicles from the storm.