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The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.
new jersey nor'easter Snow covers debris piles as flood waters start to return to neighborhoods in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, on Wednesday November 7, 2012, as a nor'easter hits. (Photo: AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

Another Punch from Mother Nature

Areas still recovering from Sandy hit again

By William Russell | null null , null

Last week, communities in New York and New Jersey were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Many people were left homeless after the storm, while others are still without power and heat.

But on Wednesday, another storm took aim at the east coast.

Winter Storm Athena moved into the same parts of New York and Jersey still recovering from Sandy. Athena brought with it very cold temperatures, heavy rains, lots of snow, and strong winds. The National Weather Service predicts Athena will also cause a 2-4-foot storm surge. This will cause moderate flooding in areas who have yet to dry out from the last storm.

Athena is what's called a "nor'easter." Here's how The Weather Channel defines a nor'easter:

"Nor'easters are strong areas of low pressure often form either in the Gulf of Mexico or off the East Coast in the Atlantic Ocean. The low will then either move up the East Coast into New England and the Atlantic provinces of Canada or out to sea. A nor'easter gets its name from its continuously strong northeasterly winds blowing in from the ocean ahead of the storm and over the coastal areas. These winter weather events are notorious for producing heavy snow, rain, and oversized waves that crash onto Atlantic beaches, often causing beach erosion and structural damage. Wind gusts associated with these storms can exceed hurricane force in intensity."

In other words, nor'easters are serious storms.

At a press conference on Wednesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie assured residents the state was not going to ignore Athena.

"We're doing what we need to do to get ready for this, just like with Hurricane Sandy," Governor Christie said. "We're prepared."

In Nassau County, Long Island, County Executive Ed Mangano urged residents in flood areas to evacuate. "Please leave those residences," Mangano said. "Find shelter out of the flood zone. It's for your own health, safety, and welfare."

Officials also urged evacuations in the towns of Islip, Oyster Bay, and Hempstead (south of Merrick Road). These communities are all in flood areas.

With temperatures falling and the wind speed increasing, new power outages are also a growing concern for residents. Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has estimated that 30,000 residents could lose power because of the storm.

The Red Cross has set up shelters across Long Island to help people who have evacuated.

Long Islanders who have been picking up the pieces after Hurricane Sandy said they were very concerned about this new storm.

"I have batteries, flashlights, just like last week, and I'm hoping for the best," Peggy Reardon of from Sound Beach told the Kids Press Corps.

"I still have no power from the last storm so I am keeping my fingers crossed and praying a lot," added Teresa Makowski, also of Sound Beach.

But even if the storm doesn't cause any new damage, it has the potential to set back recovery efforts from Sandy.

"I can see us actually moving backwards," Governor Christie said. "This progress may be impeded. I know that's awful to think about."

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