Sandy Victims Suffer As New Storm Hits US Coast

Nick Martin, Sky News Correspondent, in New York City

A second storm has battered the northeast coast of the United States, adding to the misery felt by many after superstorm Sandy.

Heavy snow and strong winds hit parts of New York and New Jersey, which brought down power lines and caused traffic delays.

In New Jersey, utility companies reported 400,000 power cuts early Thursday, with 20,000 of these being new.

In New York City and Westchester, more than 70,000 customers were without power, while on Long Island, more than 200,000 were affected.

However, roads in New Jersey were clear for the morning commute, and rail lines into Manhattan were running smoothly, despite snow still coming down heavily in some areas.

Police went to low-lying neighbourhoods with loudspeakers, urging residents to leave.

But New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not issue mandatory evacuations, and many people stayed.

"We haven't and won't order the kind of large-scale evacuation that we did in advance of Hurricane Sandy," he said.

"But if you experienced significant flooding during Sandy, then you should consider taking shelter with friends and family at a safer spot or using one of the city's storm shelters."

However communities hit by superstorm Sandy are struggling amid the bad weather.

In Staten Island, one of the areas most affected, the task of clearing up debris was made more difficult and a government aid station was forced to close.

Hundreds of residents who were displaced last week had to spend Wednesday night in shelters run by state officials.

Lorraine Orobello left her home in the middle of the storm because she had run out of food.

The 54-year-old said she had been turned away from the federal food station and had turned to another aid centre for help.

She said: "It's hard. All I want is some soup or a peanut butter sandwich.

"I shouldn't be coming out in this weather, but I have nothing back home - just a few tins of tuna and a small heater to keep warm.

"But I'm an American, you know, we get on with things. We'll get through this."

Major airlines cancelled at least 1,300 flights in and out of the New York City area ahead of the storm, causing a new round of disruptions that rippled across the country. Sandy last week led to more than 20,000 flight cancellations.

New York City also closed all parks, playgrounds and beaches, and ordered all construction sites to be secured.

Sandy started as a hurricane and killed dozens of people in the Caribbean. At least 120 people died in the US and Canada.

Around \$32m (£20m) has been raised so far to help victims after around 10,000 donations came in from across the US.