The Slatest

Occupy Sandy Preps To Take on Winter Storm Athena

As trucks ferry in empty dumpsters and carry them out full of Hurricane Sandy debris, citizens have set up their own local community relief station in the yard of a resident in Staten Island

Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images.

A winter storm named Athena is threatening to impact the East Coast on Wednesday, barely a week after Sandy passed through. Complicating matters for the storm-ravaged Northeast is the fact that an estimated 676,000 people there are still without power. 

Athena isn’t expected pack anything close to Sandy’s punch: Wind gusts could reach 65 mph, with a 3-foot storm surge, NBC New York explains. But that, combined with a possible 6 inches of snow in some areas, could set back relief and recovery work in the region.

As Slate’s Katherine Goldstein reported last week, Occupy Sandy got their hands in quickly to the relief effort in New York City. So how are they preparing for Sandy’s colder littler sister? “One thing we’re really good at is adapting,” Ed Needham of the Occupy Sandy press team told the Slatest. “Everyone’s going to try to do as much as they can until the storm provides an impediment to anyone’s safety,” he added.

Occupy Sandy, Rebuild Staten Island, and Red Hook Recovery posted storm prep plans to their Facebook pages on Wednesday morning. Occupy’s Far Rockaway team will cut down to a “skeleton” crew for the duration and are telling volunteers not to go to the area, for example, while relief efforts and many residents in Sandy-flooded areas are being relocated to higher ground.

Brick Township in New Jersey and four health care facilities in the Far Rockaways in Queens have been evacuated in advance of the storm. High tides during the storm will hit Wednesday afternoon and at midnight early Thursday, according to the Weather Channel, which has outlined the forecasted impact of the storm in more detail here.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered police to warn residents in vulnerable areas of New York City to move to higher ground. Of Athena, Bloombeg said that “even though it’s not anywhere near as strong as Sandy—nor strong enough, in normal times, for us to evacuate anybody—out of precaution and because of the changing physical circumstances, we are going to go to some small areas and ask those people to go to higher ground,” NBC New York reports.