NEW YORK – Just what New York and New Jersey need after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy: more high winds.
The National Weather Service predicted Sunday that a Nor'easter that could include gusts of up to 55 mph is likely to reach the area by Wednesday and could compound the havoc brought by last week's violent weather.
"Prepare for more outages," advised weather service meteorologist Joe Pollina. "Stay indoors. Stock up again."
He said the new storm wouldn't be nearly as strong as Sandy, but could pack winds "stronger than usual, even strong for a Nor'easter."
Meanwhile, cold temperatures streamed in and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that means "tens of thousands" of people whose homes were damaged by the superstorm will need other places to live.
"It's going to become increasingly clear" that homes without heat are uninhabitable, the governor said. He said residents who have been reluctant to leave their homes will be forced to and will need housing.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 20,000 people in the city could need housing help.
Pollina said the strongest winds from the new storm would likely be seen on eastern Long Island. The highest gusts in New York City would probably be 40 mph. Meteorologist Adrienne Liptich said Atlantic City, N.J., could see gusts up to 45 mph.
Farther inland in New Jersey, in western Passaic and Bergen counties, Pollina said, the winds would be weaker.
Pollina warned of potential for more beach erosion and coastal flooding, depending on tides. Only moderate rain is predicted. He said trees that were weakened by Sandy might be felled by the new storm. In addition, any repairs aimed at returning power to the masses of people who haven't regained it might have to be suspended during the new storm, he said.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, discussing how some senior citizens had been found cold and hungry after Sandy, said, "As we have this Nor'easter coming next week, we have to remain extremely vigilant about our neighbors."
Those swamped by Sandy were unhappy about the forecast.
John Lewis of New Rochelle, who has been staying at a shelter since his apartment was flooded by Sandy, said, "My landlord tells me there's a big crack in the ceiling, so I guess there's a chance this storm could do more damage. I was hoping to get back in there sooner rather than later, but it doesn't look good."
Horace Douglas, 37, of Mount Vernon, a security guard, had been looking forward to Wednesday so he could get some gasoline.
"Seems they're saying Wednesday is the key, the gas shortage will be over by Wednesday," he said. "Of course that's when the storm's supposed to hit, right? Big day, Wednesday."
Brian Faroul of Valley Stream, on Long Island, said, "The one storm was more than enough, really. Long Island doesn't need another one."
Associated Press Writer Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.