US & Canada

Nor'easter hits New York and New Jersey after Sandy

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Media captionThe BBC's weather presenter Ben Rich: ''This is normally something we expect during winter''

The New York and New Jersey region has awoken to fresh power outages after a nor'easter in areas still recovering from last week's super storm, Sandy.

More than 270,000 customers suffered power cuts from Wednesday's unseasonably early winter weather.

Winds had gusted at 60mph (100km/h), felling trees and power lines.

But roads were largely clear for Thursday's commute, and rail lines to New York were running smoothly, despite heavy snow still falling in some areas.

According to the Associated Press, utilities in New Jersey reported about 390,000 outages early on Thursday. Some 160,000 of those were new.

In the New York area, reports AP, there were 130,000 fresh power cuts, on top of more than 300,000 customers who were already without electricity after Sandy.

Residents from Connecticut to Rhode Island saw 3-6in (7-15cm) of snow on Wednesday.

In Worcester, Massachusetts, 8in of snow fell, while Freehold, New Jersey, saw just over 1ft overnight.

The storm left a layer of thick, wet snow that snapped Sandy-weakened trees and downed power lines, leading to the fresh outages.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said: "I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next."

But the damage from the latest weather front was less than had been feared.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said low-lying areas were not flooded at high tide on Wednesday afternoon.

But he also said he was still concerned about the security of those areas where flood defences had not yet been repaired.

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Media captionThe BBC's Zoe Conway reports on the clean-up operation in Queens

Ahead of the nor'easter, major airlines cancelled flights in and out of New York and New Jersey.

Long Island resident Rudi Schlachter, who was forced to move her family to the upper floors of their home due to severe flooding last week, said she was evacuating the area altogether now.

"All you need is a gale of wind driving a piece of wood into somebody's window," she said. "We're leaving; I don't want my kids to see the water again."

Some residents reported losing power that had only recently returned.

Mark Fendrick, of Staten Island, tweeted: "My son had just got his power back two days ago, now along comes this nor'easter and it's out again."

President Obama spoke to the governors of New York and New Jersey on Wednesday, with the discussions focused on the continuing fuel shortages in the region.

So far 95,000 people have registered for emergency housing assistance in New York and New Jersey after Sandy, according to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency. It added that it was ready to deploy additional resources if needed.