Bloomberg Urges Residents Without Heat To Relocate To Warm Place

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City’s biggest power utility is preparing to respond to potential outages as windy weather approaches the metropolitan area.

Gusty winds and heavy rain will move into the area Thursday night and intensify Friday morning before moving out by midday, CBS 2 meteorologist John Elliott reported.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning from 4 a.m. until noon Friday.

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Wind gusts could reach 60 mph Friday morning and early afternoon, CBS 2’s Lonnie Quinn reported.

“People should be mindful of their holiday decorations. They could easily blow away in these gusts,” Quinn said. “On a more significant note, obviously numerous homes and structures were compromised due to Hurricane Sandy. Many of these are still not inhabitable and could be in danger of collapse should we get the gusts predicted.”

In addition, Quinn said if you are currently repairing your home please secure or take inside building materials, for they are sure to take flight if left outside.

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The wind and rain are associated with the snowstorm that socked the Midwest earlier Thursday. Heavy snow blanketed states from Missouri to Wisconsin and the powerful storm also spawned several tornadoes in Florida and Alabama, plus a confirmed EF1 twister in Arkansas, CBS 2 reported.

Snow is not expected to hit the New York area, although temperatures are expected to dip over the weekend. Total rainfall will be between 1-2 inches, Quinn reported.

Temperatures in New York City are expected to be below freezing this weekend, with wind chill factors in the teens.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged all New Yorkers who are living without heat due to damage caused by Superstorm Sandy to get to a warm, safe place immediately, as temperatures are expected to stay cold for three to four days.

“We have been fortunate that the temperatures this fall have been relatively mild, but when the season turns to winter this Friday, it is expected to bring the cold with it,” said Bloomberg.  “And as temperatures drop, those living without heat face serious health problems and even death. Don’t take any chances with your life, or with your family’s lives. Get somewhere warm and safe now. If you cannot stay with friends or relatives, go to a NYC Restoration Center or call 311 and we will find a place for you to stay.”

ConEd said the wind could cause trees and branches weakened by October’s hurricane to fall and take down power lines.

If there are outages, Con Ed will focus first on repairs that provide power to the largest number of customers, then on smaller groups and individual buildings.

Customers can report downed power lines, outages and check service restoration at or by calling 1-800-75CONED (1-800-752-6633).

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)