Storm-weary New York braces for snow

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New York - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday announced a limited evacuation of some neighbourhoods ahead of harsh weather barrelling toward a city still recovering from superstorm Sandy.

The national weather service forecasted heavy rain and likely snow on Wednesday and Thursday, accompanied by gale-force winds gusting as high as 69km/h.

Though barely half the strength of Sandy, the autumn storm will lash already damaged buildings and bring lower temperatures for tens of thousands of people still struggling without electricity.

Bloomberg told a news conference that parks and beaches would close. The worst-hit patches of waterfront neighbourhoods, including Rockaways in the Queens borough, and in Staten Island, were being asked to evacuate again.

“We are going to go to a few very low areas and try to evacuate people,” he said. “We are not ordering a general evacuation.”

In addition to the parks, the city's four zoos were due to close for most of Wednesday and Thursday.

Bloomberg also said sanitation workers would temporarily stop collecting recycling materials and lessen garbage collection so that more resources could be devoted to clean up badly flooded areas.

Around 91 000 homes and businesses were still without power in New York eight days after Sandy swept through, killing 40 people in the city alone. More than 100 people died in the US northeast. - AFP

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