Without Heat, Sandy Victims Guard Their Homes

The Nor'easter headed for the region hit by Hurricane Sandy isn't expected to cause as much damage as Sandy. But it is raising anxiety among the hundreds of thousands of families who are still without power or heat and struggling to find gasoline. They are afraid to leave their homes because of looters.

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And while the election is almost over, the bad weather is not. Another storm is expected to hit the New York/New Jersey area tomorrow. The Nor'easter headed for the region will bring high winds, cold temperatures, rain and possibly snow. But it isn't likely to cause nearly as much damage as Sandy.

Still, as NPR's Steve Henn reports, it's raising anxiety among the many families who are still without power and heat, and gas for their vehicles.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Driving down Sunrise Highway on the South Shore of Long Island, it's easy to tell which gas stations are open. You can spot them a quarter of a mile away by the line of cars stretching down the street.

JOE CAHILL: I got lucky. I found gas this morning at like 4:00 in the morning.

HENN: Joe Cahill was down to his last gallon. He's living in a house that was partially flooded so it doesn't get robbed - for a second time.

Gary Stiriz is deputy mayor of Mastic Beach. He says a lot of folks here are living in homes that might not be safe for the same reason. And this gas shortage is just kind of like the icing on top.

So they can't power their generator and then they also can't pack up and go. Right?

GARY STIRIZ: Absolutely. They are trapped in place where they don't want to be. Yet they're afraid to leave because somebody else will come and have some early Christmas shopping in their home.

HENN: Many folks I talked to here have been camping out in their homes all week. But with another storm coming, some are thinking about packing it in. Burglars and gas be damned. Steve Henn, NPR News.

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