Snow preps: New York area gears up as 3rd nor'easter bears down

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The clock is ticking with the start of yet another nor'easter expected to dump another round of snow starting Monday night and lasting throughout the day Tuesday.

The cleanup from the previous two storms to batter the winter-weary northeast is still ongoing, as fallen trees downed power lines and left tens of thousands in the dark. Residents in New Jersey and New York City's northern suburbs were the worst hit, while the third nor'easter is expected to take aim at coastal Connecticut and the shores of Long Island.

The New York City Department of Sanitation has issued a Snow Alert, and commuters are advised to use mass transit where possible.

Related: Emergency Resources for the Winter Storm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the State Emergency Operations Center in Albany remains activated and will monitor the storm as it approaches the Northeast.

Amtrak announced it will temporarily suspend service between Boston and New York City until at least 11 a.m. Tuesday due to the weather. Service will be restored pending improved conditions.

A few thousand utility customers remain without power in New Jersey, with major utilities reporting that more than 6,300 customers were still without service following Wednesday's nor'easter. Most of them lost their service during the storm, but some haven't had power since another destructive nor'easter roared in March 2.

The new storm is expected to hit about midnight and last through most of the day Tuesday, with snow accumulating at a rate of 2 inches per hour during the Tuesday morning commute. Parts of New England could see more than a foot of snow.

More power outages are possible, but they are not expected to be as widespread as last week. Only minor coastal flooding is possible.

In New York, heavy, wet snow is forecast for Long Island, which could get 5 to 10 inches of accumulation, while 2 to 4 inches are possible in New York City.

In New Jersey, the storm is expected to start out as light rain in most areas, then turn to a wintry mix before changing over to all snow by early Tuesday, leaving behind anywhere from 1 to 4 inches.

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Reporter Sandra Bookman reports on how New Jersey is preparing for its 2nd snowstorm in 2 weeks.

In Mahwah Monday, public works crews were busy chopping up and feeding downed trees into a wood chipper, the remnants of the one-two punch of a duo of nor'easters.

"We had two feet of snow that we had to plow and our trucks were hard to go through," said Director of Public Works Glenn Dawson "After the storm was to open the roads and push the trees out of the way but you couldn't with the wires down."

Township officials had nothing but praise not only for their workers, but also for the many out-of-town utility crews who came to the rescue when tens of thousands of people across the state were left in the dark.

"They are simply exhausted as many communities are and the work that they have done along with the utilities is just courageous, dangerous work," said Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet.

Still, questions linger about why it took so long to get the power back on in many communities, and Monday the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities launched an official investigation into the response, including public hearings, something Gov. Phil Murphy has been calling for.

But in Mahwah, the mayor was concerned mainly with the here and now as they pulled out the plows and prepared for storm number 3.

"I don't think anybody sitting today without power cares about who's gonna be responsible, finger pointing. We'll get to that, our job number one is simple: we just want to turn the heat back on," said LaForet.

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