Storm preps: New York area gears up as 2nd nor'easter bears down

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Tens of thousands of people are still in the dark and cleaning up from Friday's nor'easter, as a second storm moves into the Tri-State Area.

The clock is ticking with the start of another nor'easter expected to dump another round of heavy, wet snow starting Wednesday morning and lasting throughout the day.

Newark public schools are among dozens that have already canceled classes for Wednesday. New York City public schools are expected to remain open, though Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will keep a very close eye on the progress of the storm. CLICK HERE for the latest school closures.

The New York City Department of Sanitation has issued a Snow Alert, with Alternate Side Parking rules suspended through Thursday, as well as a hazardous travel advisory for Wednesday. Commuters are advised to use mass transit where possible.

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Lucy Yang has more on how NYC is preparing for Wednesday's nor'easter.

Related: What you need to know about mass transit, traveling during the nor'easter

Still, it is the areas to the north and west of the city that are expected to bear the brunt of the storm, with more than a foot of accumulation possible in some spots.

The first nor'easter hit four days ago, and still, about 12,500 Westchester County customers were without power late Tuesday evening. Nearly 28,000 remained in the dark in New Jersey.

Downed trees are blocking the restoration of power in some parts, leaving crews scrambling before another round of dangerous weather.

About 200,000 homes and business across the Northeast remained without power Tuesday, down from about 2 million at the last storm's peak.

Related: Emergency Resources for the Winter Storm

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a snow emergency effective at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Hundreds of crews continued to work to clear trees and repair power lines across the Garden State, but officials said some customers affected by that storm may not have their service restored until at least Wednesday. Most of the affected customers are in northern Jersey, and Murphy said the new storm will likely result in a new round of outages.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a travel advisory for all areas east of I-81 as well as a travel ban on tractor trailers on certain roads, including the New York State Thruway from Exit 36 (Syracuse) to the New York City line,

Residents on Long Island were also bracing for additional outages, while towns were readying sand and salt to pre-treat roads in an effort to prevent black ice. Flooding is also a possibility in high-risk areas, and residents were urged to keep cars off the streets to prevent damage.
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Stacey Sager reports on storm preparations in Garden City in Nassau County.

"The lowest point in the street is where the drains are, so parking anywhere near those drains is kissing your car goodbye," Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said.

In Dutchess County, dashcam video showed part of a tree crashing down in Hyde Park, the debris just narrowly missed a man. NYSEG and Con Ed have extra crews in from other states to help restore power, and Weschester County director of operations Joan McDonald is calling for an investigation in the delays.

"There were two storms, there was the nor'easter and the storm out west, so the resources I guess just weren't there," she said. "But then again, that is something we are angry about."

People could be right back to square one midweek, with the snow expected to bring down more trees and power lines.
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Toni Yates reports on storm preparations from Randolph, New Jersey.

In Mount Vernon, work crews hurried to remove downed trees after Con Edison shut down the live wires that stopped one neighborhood in its tracks.

"Declaring a state of emergency, understanding that 43 percent of our city is without power and knowing that between seven to ten inches of snow is on the way," said Mayor Richard Thomas.

Officials announced that the Westchester County Center would be open Tuesday to provide a place for residents to stay warm.

County Executive George Latimer said thousands of residents "are still sleeping in cold homes with no lights and downed power lines right outside their doors. I find this disgusting. I am outraged at both Con Edison and NYSEG's slow and inadequate response."

"I want power and obviously I want the power back, and if you can do that as fast as you can, that's what I want," Yorktown Supervisor Lanny Gilbert said.

He expressed his frustration three days after the storm left heavy damage and residents without power. Yorktown residents lined up for dry ice made available by Con Edison, and many have hunkered down in their homes.

"I just slept with the dog and cat to get some extra heat because it's cold," one resident said.

Meanwhile, states of emergency remain in place in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester counties.

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