NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Residents of areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy are heeding warnings as a massive winter storm intensifies.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging those still without heat from Sandy to seek shelter.
“Call 311 and we’ll be sure to find you shelter,” he said. “Certainly, if you or someone you see has symptoms like uncontrolled shivering or disorientation, that may very well be hypothermia and hypothermia can be deadly. So anyone with these symptoms should get someplace warm immediately.”
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Bloomberg also warned residents living in low-lying coastal areas that flooding may occur as the storm barrels through the Tri-State.
“Because of the likelihood of moderate coastal flooding, the FDNY has pre-positioned a number of its waterborne rescue units in the city’s low-lying coastal areas and the NYPD has emergency service units in those areas as well and they’ll be beefing up police patrols,” Bloomberg said.
In Red Hook, Brooklyn, many residents said they aren’t taking any chances.
“I think it’s serious,” one person told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.
“Sometimes the weatherman gets it right,” another added.
Parts of Sea Gate, Brooklyn still look like a war zone from Sandy as residents continue to struggle.
“I’m scared to death. I’m really am scared,” said resident Patricia Cirillo.
On Staten Island, at a tent shelter set up for Sandy victims still living without power, volunteers used tarps and a makeshift drain to keep the bad weather out. Manager Donna Graziano said she feared the new storm would keep her regulars away.
“A lot of residents don’t have the means to cook anything,” she said. “I’m sure for tonight they’ll make arrangements, but it’s heartbreaking to me because I hear their cries every day. I give them their hugs.”
Some New Dorp residents displaced by Sandy said they’re worried about what the winter storm would bring.
“I got nothing else,” resident Dom Camerada told CBS 2’s Steve Langford. “I don’t even have a will to go forward if this happens again.”
Camerada, his wife and four children are still trying to recover from Sandy.
“It’s just another curve ball thrown by Mother Nature,” he said.
“After that big storm, of course we’re upset,” said one woman. “I’m afraid again — of weather, of nature.”
Out in the Rockaways at the packed Hess station on Cross Bays Boulevard, Vito Vitali filled up his tank and three gas cans.
“I thought the worst was behind us and this is probably still the beginning,” he told WCBS 880′ Marla Diamond.
His Howard Beach home took on six feet of water during Sandy.
“It’s kinda like a little bit nerve-wracking, you know, it’s like, oh my God, when is this gonna end, you know?” he said.
The surge along the coast is expected to be far less than the superstorm, but Peggy Capri of Breezy Point said she still expects some flooding.
“There’s no jetties to protect or anything,” she said, adding that neighbors are once again helping neighbors. “Absolutely. We all are. Everybody’s talking about. That’s all everybody’s taking about.”
Forecasters and officials took pains to say the kind of damage that Sandy caused was not in the offing. State Director of Operations Howard Glaser said the storm was in some ways a “routine blizzard.”
Mayor Bloomberg said nothing like the October storm surge, which flooded areas of Manhattan, was expected. He emphasized that no evacuations were being ordered.
“Sandy was a big storm that was devastating to a lot of people,” the mayor said. “I don’t think this storm is going to do that.”
Nevertheless, in coastal areas of Queens and Long Island, not nearly recovered yet from last year’s storm, memories were easily stirred.
“I’m not afraid of the snow. Instead, the sea surge, it may be seven feet,” said Lindenhurst resident Eddie Malone. “I think Sandy was 12 or 13 feet but seven feet scares me. We had no power for two weeks and now I’m afraid we are going to lose it again.”
In New Jersey, at least two towns hit hard by Sandy issued voluntary evacuation orders.
Residents in flood-prone sections of Brick Township were urged to move their cars to higher ground by 5 p.m. Friday.
In Toms River, the Office of Emergency Management issued a voluntary order to residents in barrier island homes or low-lying mainland areas beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.
In Union Beach, nearly 100 homes were damaged or destroyed during Sandy. Those who are still struggling to rebuild can’t imagine being hit by another storm.
“It’s not a good time for it, after all of this,” resident John Musarri told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
“We’re scared,” said resident Robin Lowery.
As the storm intensifies, first responders said they will be on stand-by.
“We just worry about the hypothermia,” said firefighter Carlos Rodriguez. “People still don’t have heat.”
A coastal flood warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for several areas, including Ocean County. Flooding was possible at high tide Friday evening.
Emergency management director Paul Daley indicated it is “very likely” some areas in the township may flood, including land near the Barnegat Bay.
Those areas have become more prone to flooding since Superstorm Sandy struck the area on Oct. 29.
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