Fatima Quentiro walks with her granddaughter Galalea Castro through the snow to a bus stop to take a bus to Quenitroâ??s home after Castroâ??s home was damaged by flooding as a Norâ??Easter approaches in the Rockaway neighborhood on November 7, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. The two are wearing jackets donated by the NYC Marathon. The Rockaway Peninsula was especially hard hit by Superstorm Sandy and some are evacuating ahead of the coming storm. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Gary Strauss, Doyle Rice and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY
Still navigating the harrowing destruction of Superstorm Sandy, much of the Northeast was hunkering down for a nor'easter barreling up the East Coast, ushering in snow, sleet, rain, strong winds and cold temperatures through Thursday.
National Weather Service forecasters say the storm doesn't have the destructive power of Sandy - which killed more than 110 in the U.S., cut power to 8.5 million homes and flooded the New York metropolitan area and New Jersey coast. But it's still dangerous, threatening potential storm surges to coastal areas recovering from Sandy's flooding onslaught.
Nearly 60,000 customers in New York and New Jersey who lost power because of Sandy lost it all over again with the nor'easter, utility companies told the Associated Press. Con Ed, which serves New York City, said the storm knocked out power to at least 11,000 customers Wednesday evening. Tens of thousands more were likely to lose power overnight.
New York and New Jersey airports had already canceled more than 1,700 flights through today, causing a ripple of travel disruptions around the country.
Strong wind gusts prompted the halt of construction work in New York City - which also closed parks because of the threat to falling trees.
"We're petrified," said James Alexander, who lives in the hard-hit Rockaways section of Queens. "It's like a sequel to a horror movie."
Up to 5.5 inches of snow blanketed parts of New York, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Connecticut by Wednesday night. Weather Channel meteorologist Jon Erdman said several more inches could fall in the Poconos, Catskills and western Connecticut.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged residents of flood-prone neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island to evacuate Wednesday night.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which set up assistance centers in New York and New Jersey last week, closed some facilities in still-reeling Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways to protect emergency staffers.
In New Jersey, where recovery workers were building up badly eroded beach dunes, a fresh round of evacuations was ordered for some coastal communities.
"I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. "We may take a setback in the next 24 hours."
Christie warned heavy, wet snow inland could reverse some power restored to 2.76 million New Jerseyans who lost electricity last week. About 370,000 remain without power.
"We're doing what we need to do to prepare for this, just like we did for Hurricane Sandy," Christie said. "We're prepared."
Road crews and utility workers in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island were preparing for snow, power damage and potential flooding. Delaware Transportation officials are focusing on potential flooding near vacation town Bethany Beach.
Contributing: Michael Risinit, The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News; Sean O'Sullivan, The The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal; the Associated Press