New York - New York state governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday warned a new storm heading towards his state and neighbouring New Jersey, both still recovering from superstorm Sandy, could lead to new coastal evacuations.
"We will have a potential storm on Wednesday," Cuomo told a press conference.
"Normally, it would not be a life-threatening storm. But this is not a normal situation," he said. "In this situation, this is serious. If we have to evacuate, we begin it early, and people - take it seriously."
Cuomo warned that the vast amount of debris still on the ground in the storm zone could be tossed into the air at dangerous speeds if a storm strikes. Soil in the area also remains saturated, leading to the fear of more flooding.
Sandy, which began as a deadly hurricane in the Caribbean, slammed 15 eastern US states and prompted a huge tidal surge that killed at least 109 people in the United States and Canada and caused tens of billions of dollars worth of damage.
The coastal regions of New York and New Jersey were hardest-hit when Sandy crashed ashore on 29 October.
According to the US National Weather Service, a low pressure area off the southeastern US coast is forecast to strengthen as it moves north along the coast of North and South Carolina on Wednesday.
The storm "will continue to strengthen into Thursday as it moves off the New Jersey coast. Potential impacts include wind gusts up to 50m/h, minor to moderate coastal flooding, heavy rain along coastal areas and wet snow across interior sections," the NWS said.
Cuomo again lashed out again at the regional New York power companies for delays in restoring service to blacked-out areas.
"The progress is unacceptable," Cuomo said. "I'm angry, disappointed."
The governor noted the difference between Manhattan, where power has been almost fully restored, and other New York neighbourhoods in Queens or Staten Island, where tens of thousands of customers remain without power.