Mayor: Roads May Be Plowed By Wednesday Night … Maybe

Bloomberg Urges Patience, But Many Say The System Broke

NEW YORK (CBS New York/AP) — On the day after the day after, New Yorkers were left wondering what happened. There are still many streets that haven’t seen a plow yet.

“I’m curious as to why none of this has been plowed yet,” one person told CBS 2’s Lou Young. “All the streets around here, very few have been plowed. One was half-plowed.”

“I think they get an F-minus,” said Arlene Buonintane of Queens Village. “I think they really screwed up because, you know, this is ridiculous. You still have ambulances that have to get out. You still have police and firefighters that have to get through and none of the side streets are plowed.”

Mobile 2 Team Reports from Dyker Heights

“This has never been like this. I think it’s because the Sanitation [Department] is short. I’m a retired sanitation worker and it has never been like this,” another resident said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg blamed circumstance.

“We won’t get to everybody every time. We will make mistakes, but we have to continue plugging ahead. Yelling about it and complaining doesn’t help,” Bloomberg said. “I think you can expect another 24 hours before we will get to everyone and even then I’m not so sure.”

The mayor said 2,700 city plows manned by a reduced Department of Sanitation workforce were all at work Tuesday night, supplemented by other City departments. Young saw a privately contracted plow with a Parks Department worker riding shotgun.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola on unplowed Queens streets

PHOTO GALLERIES: Blizzard Slams East Coast | User-Submitted Storm Photos

 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports

SOUND OFF: Is Your Road Plowed?

The City said it needs more private plows, front loaders and tow trucks. Ambulances have been getting stuck trying to do their work.

“Too many ambulances went down blocked streets, for example,” Bloomberg said. “What they should’ve done was stay at the corner of the main street and then walked down or struggled through the snow to get down, because once the ambulance got in it couldn’t get out.”

Young witnessed one ambulance doing precisely what the mayor wanted. It stopped on a main street so that EMTs could walk down snow-covered side street to assist someone. But in the process their ambulance blocked traffic, including a snow plow.

Outerborough Outrage

The stuck plow driver was clearly frustrated.

“It’s hard. We’re stuck in traffic because people don’t stay home,” he said. “People driving around, getting stuck in the middle of the street. We can’t get down the streets. It’s impossible.”

If you’re not buying this, neither are the folks at the NYC Council or in the borough presidents’ offices. Marty Markowitz was nearly apoplectic over the condition of his Brooklyn borough’s streets.

“We’ve had previous bad snowstorms and the Sanitation Department did an excellent job. Something didn’t happen this time,” Markowitz said.

Residents React to City’s Storm Response

The City Office of Emergency Management, which is normally empty, was activated around 4 p.m. on Sunday when the storm started to settle in. There’s even a stuck ambulance task force that’s been at it since Monday trying to make sense of the mess.

But angry NYC Council members said they think there’s more that needs to be looked into than stuck ambulances. Hearings have been scheduled for Jan. 10.

“I believe we can do better. We expect better. I know we can do better. We did better in February when we had a storm and that was much worse. And so I know this was a bad storm, but the reality is we’ve done it in the past and we should have done it in the last 48 hours but we failed,” said Councilwoman Leticia James, D-Queens.

City Councilman Daniel Dromm shook his head and came short of stamping his feet on two feet of unplowed snow on 75th Street in Jackson Heights, Queens.

“The fact that there has been no plow in this neighborhood at all is a disaster,” Dromm said. “It’s hard to understand why the city was so unprepared for this storm because we knew for a long time that it was coming.”

“This is going on day three and usually what we see is a plow coming down the street on the day when the storm starts, then you see something coming the day after and basically the third day you expect it to be clear but that’s not what happened here,” he added.

WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola on outrage over NYC’s response to the blizzard

Some are putting the blame on Bloomberg. “He is not doing what he is supposed to do,” one woman said. “He’s not running the city, we’re wondering what is happening.”

“I think the Mayor must be living in another world if he thinks that the response to this has been satisfactory,” Dromm said.

However, Bloomberg said he understands the hardships the public has faced in the last few days.

“I’m angry too, if your street was plowed the response was adequate, if your street was not plowed the response was inadequate,” Bloomberg said. “We can not do everything all the time and we are doing the best we can.”

CBS 2’s Dave Carlin rode along with plow operators and sanitation supervisors on Tuesday night during their 12-hour shifts.

Residents on unplowed side streets seemed openly hostile.

Carlin asked the operator if he understands the criticism.

“I understand it. I heard it. Unfortunately, it was one of those storms that are one in a million. The sheer volume and the speed it came down and the winds did not help at all,” the operator said.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Ginny Kosola
  • big jake

    Welcome to NYC, hell 2.0.

  • dcalfine

    The area of New York state affected by the storm is slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey, all of which was affected by the storm. So the number of trucks is not the issue. The issue is competence in planning, execution, and leadership. Even when a major storm hits while the governor of New Jersey is 1000 miles away, his state works because he has led a culture of competence. In New York, the governor is a deer in the headlights and the mayor is too busy running silly conferences to set himself up for a presidential run to mind the operation of his own city. Bloomberg and Cuomo can also learn from New Jersey how to start dealing with the public education crisis, if they are willing.

  • coldhardtruth

    How many mpg’s does a Prius get in NYC this morning?

  • Lynne

    With all those millions of people, many on welfare….get ’em out shoveling….we here in Maine have to do that…what in hell is wrong with people… together and shovel yourselves out.

  • Lake Effect in Indiana

    Do any of you lazy SOBs in New Orleans, I mean New York have snow shovels? If the road is blocked, start digging. The only thing more disgusting than the government response are the able bodied people begging for the city to dig them out.

    • Rose

      What are we paying taxes for then? Not a single plow this winter NOT ONE. How about you dig out the 4+ feet of snow in the middle of the streets in Ridgewood,It’s every where & humanly impossible to do plus ,WHERE THE HELL DO YOU WANT US TO PUT IT?!

      • ts

        Why are you voting in these fools??? You don’t pay taxes to get serviced do you? You pay taxes so democrats can spend it on vote-getting and for padding the retirement pensions. Don’t you know what government is for?

  • Lordrobot

    That’s not really snow…. it is global warming fairy dust brought to you by the global warming fairy Mayor.

  • Jesus_Loves_You!

    This should show all you people the true nature of this Bloomberg character. What an egomaniac. He should be run out of town, or maybe hung from a light pole.

  • Archy Cary

    Hay. You Nu-your-kers voted this clown you mayor. You get what you vote for. Deal with it.

  • Archy Cary

    Blummy’s a candidate to run for VP with Barry.

  • maddog

    Give the man a break, he’s too busy putting bicycle paths.

  • kay

    Liberals never learn. They forget the bad and the ugly and always hope for the good of government and unions. Well, they are getting what they vote for; a whole lot a hope.

  • Willy Brown

    Bloomberg is a RINO a liberal through and through. He rode Rudy’s coat tails into the mayor’s office. NYC you got a liberal so badly wanted how do you like hin now. Miss Rudy yet?

  • chopper

    Plow your street with this………..Elections have consequences.

  • chopper

    Before the storm hit, i read that NJ had1,700 plows with spreaders ready to go…..and New York had 1,400?

    Thats ok, but NY is 20 times bigger with 20 times the miles of road as NJ. It doesn’t take a rocket scientest to see this wasn’t going to work. You can thank yourselves for giving gloomy another term.

  • Tim Tigh

    Maybe if Mayor Bloomberg would spend city money on plows instead of Global Warming Conferences, the snowed in residents would be safer.

  • Laughing_in_Buffalo

    Bloomberg is a billionaire who is primarily and solely interested in – you guessed it – himself! Sorry, but all you New Yorkers, he really doesn’t give a flip about you or your woes. But then, you already knew that when you elected him thrice, didn’t ya? (He really took you NYC voters for a good ride with that two term-three term-two term routine, didn’t he?)

    When he can keep changing rules and getting elected over and over again despite his record, playing you for the suckers you are, what does he care about you and your problems.

    You have no one to blame for the high taxes and lousy government you elected. Suck it up already… Or maybe give him a fourth term.

  • BillP

    Everybody knows it was a big snow. Thats not the point. Its that Bloomberg knocked out term limits on the premise that he was the most brilliant guy there ever was. The best mayor we’ve ever had. And that if he wasn’t elected to a third term the city would slide into the harbor. Maybe if he took a few minutes out from playing golf with Obama and going to Bermuda, and showed up in city hall more often we might be better off.

  • JustAGuy

    What a bunch of whiny losers New York City denizens are!

    Snow Happens. Get off your ass and help out yourself and your neighbor instead of waiting for governmental “help” or are you just a bunch of a Katrinas?

  • Hawkeyez

    Glad I live in Buffalo. Best machines and drivers anywhere.
    It is kind of funny watching you all. Get a 6 pack and relax.

  • Mark Matis

    Look, y’all WANTED Bloomberg, y’all GOT Bloomberg. Wassamatta? You’re getting EXACTLY what you deserve for what you have put in office.

    Go ahead, bite the Big Apple, don’t mind the maggots, uh-huh!

  • Dave

    Napalm will get rid of that snow in a hurry.

  • Susan

    Dear New York and New Jersey,


    Yours truly, Flyover Country.

  • Jeffrey A Friedberg

    It used to be that people would just get out and shovel and snow-blow on their own.

    The current result is what happens when you depend on GOVERNMENT for nearly everything.

    And yes, it has to be blamed on Bloomberg, and the Liberal Rulers of NYC. WHO’S OTHER FAULT IS IT? BUSH???

    • AnotherGuy

      +2 Jeffrey…+2

  • Stacey

    And to all the DUM-DUMS who want to make it a Democrat versus Republican issue, you are part of teh problem and playing right into their “divide and conquer” game. FOOLS! This is about the RULERS versus the RULED<

  • Stacey

    To all the RETYARDS who say that people should clear the streets themselves, tell me, if you go to a Restaurant where you PAID for the meal upfront and did NOT get served but sat there ignored,
    should you have brought your own food and gone iinto the Restaurant’s kitchen and cooked your own meal, if you had ALREADY PAID for this service ???

    • Dave

      Here’s your answer…

    • Just Aguy

      What a poor analogy. Weather happens.

      Get your lardass out there and start shovelling. Sometimes you actually have to take care of yourself instead of relying on the government to do things for you.

      Don’t be a “Katrina victim” …

  • rotflmao

    Hey;;, didn’t you New Yorkers vote for this clown? You got what you voted for, idiot. Oh, typical liberal. Blame someone else.


    CBS 2 please help South Ozone Park, NO PLOWS 3 days 134 street, Rockaway blvd to the Conduit


    • SteveB

      You pitiful twit. Grab a shovel and help yourself. What a bunch of nanny state Pavlovian babies!!

  • Mike from Staten Is

    Repost: My neighbors and I were so fed up with the clean up we went and shoveled our street clean by hand (Tuesday afternoon). 4 homeowners doing what the city failed to do. And we still have to pay taxes. Ain’t that something!!!!! BTW how can we be compensated for doing sanitations work?

  • viper

    Obviously Mr. wonderful that thinks he has ALL of the answers to the cities, (and the worlds ills) doesn’t seem to be able to actually SOLVE a problem. Typical politician, all blow no go!



    • SteveB

      You pitiful twit. Man up and grab a shovel and help yourself. What a bunch of nanny state Pavlovian babies!! There will be plenty of time later to recall Bloomberg.

  • IMRandy2

    Pathetic. We’ve dealt with massive dumps of snow decade after decade in the Midwest. Why don’t y’all climb on your roofs and wait for the gubment to show up like your brethren in N’Orleans did?

  • TPC

    Typical Yankees. Pick up a shovel, or move South.

    • rotflmao

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! We don’t want these liberal goons in our state. Let them stay there and vote liberal and continue to show the world how stupid they are. They are getting what they deserve,

    • UyeahU

      Speaking as a native Floridian, please DO NOT move south, we have enough northern politics in our state already. It’s obviously worked so well for you that we do not wish to import more.

      • FloridaNative

        Amen! They’d expect the government to do everything for them and down in the South, that’s not the way we do things….

        You actually have to do some things for yourself…

        And QUIT giving them ideas! South Florida is already polluted with their ilk enough!!.

  • Weissfoto

    I just came from downtown where a salt spreader was circling City Hall
    dumping salt onto damp non-snow covered asphalt. I traveled to the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn where there was no snow removal activity at all.
    Wednesday in Brooklyn will be a repeat of Tuesday.

  • Dalan

    The government is responsible for keeping streets clear of snow and passable for emergency vehicles, and it is failing. Government always fails…don’t depend on it! While this is an unusually heavy blizzard, snow is not uncommon in New York. Don’t New Yorkers prepare for this sort of thing? Was this not forecast days in advance? Have Americans become so latched on to the government teet that we can no longer fend for ourselves? Goverment continues to fail us yet we continue to be surprised when it does? And the answer to failed goverment is MORE government? Take some personal responsibility! And if you don’t have to be on the roads, stay home!

    • Dallas Dude

      WHAT!?! Government failing? Surely you jest.

  • DeltaForce

    Obviously, NYC is doing its best ?? This is a major disaster – call & get help from the National Guard.

    The City was ready on Saturday and everyone knew the blizzard will hit NYC, and the Mayor assured us with media talk that it is ready – NOT.

    City Council hearing next month need to address the issue of what happen to all the tire chains for snow emergencies – they are normally installed on Police, Fire, EMS and other first responder vehicles ahead of a major winter storm/blizzard of this magnitude. Isn’t OEM always on top with its Command Center / EOC ?

    Numerous streets aren’t blocked by abandoned or stuck private cars – they are blocked by MTA city buses, fire trucks, ambulances and police cars – WHY ??

    Did the famous DOT tow trucks got stuck too & can’t help NYC itself either?

    • Rmple Stilskin

      Barry has the NG in Afghanistan. Can’t call them. Call Ghost Busters.

  • I See Stupid People

    My street in Maspeth, Queens finally got plowed tonight. Five minutes after the snow plow passed, people were digging out their cars by shoveling snow back into the middle of the street! Oy vey!

  • Eli

    Bottom line traffic officers are in effect tomorrow! That Bloomberg can gauarntee. We have 1,000 of them in each corner making sure to give tickets! He knows what’s going and is fully aware, I believe he has given orders not to clean streets, because he does not want to pay! Not every one in billionaire Bloomberg. You should be ashamed, there bs salt trucks and plow trucks out there. Last year we had a similar storm and it was all good! We are all upset now, this will pass and most likely Bloomberg will get an approval to run again, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  • Senior

    mayor said to call 311, sure maybe next year they will answer the phones. no plow at all on 98th street, between park lane south and forest park drive in woodhaven.

    • Stranded in Sheepshead Bay

      Eh, the people who work 311 can’t get to work either, no trains, no busses, can’t drive.

  • Sandy Yago

    These are the times I am really reminded why I moved to San Diego 7 years ago.

    • Ray Magee

      Really I am a refugee from the Peoples Republic of California myself. Left 16 years ago. Had to leave to much government, too much taxes. Happy here in Florida, All you Northerners and Left Coasters Stay put. Don’t want you ruining a great state.

  • Sharon Corrente

    Sharon in Maspeth
    It’s Wednesday after the blizzard and 60th avenue in Maspeth has not been plowed yet. 60th ave is not the only street that has not been plowed. To make matters worse. I waited 2 hors for the Q54 bus in Jamaica onl to find out that ht had been detoured and did not stop at the location I was waiting at. A search of the MTA website did not indicate that there were any changes on the Q54 bus line. This is a nightmare.

  • JOSH


  • Bob Swanson

    I was in Times Square tonight (12/28) and the streets and sidewalks were still a mess. I drove in on I78 and some parts of the road had lanes that still weren’t plowed (10-20 miles from the city). It looked as if this was the first time anyone in the government had seen snow. We had tons of snow last year – did everyone forget how to get the highways and streets clean or are the governments just broke?

  • Becky

    Queens still a mess. The is the worst snow clean up in 40 years.

  • p

    summ it up – criminal negligence

    • Stranded in Sheepshead Bay

      Indeed. People have already DIED because of this.

      • SteveB

        Just think what will happen now that the same politicians will be running health care for all of us now?

  • ruth

    Alot of the blocks are totally impassable in Ridgewood. The only day I saw a snow plow actually cleaning the streets was on Cypress Ave Monday afternoon, Other than that all the a joining blocks look all the same.. untouched by a snow plow. Ridgewood and Bushwick have been forgotten in the clean up

  • greedo

    what is really shameful is how poorly mayor bloomberg is reacting to the peoples frustrations. it is once again proof of how disconnected mayor bloomberg is from the average new yorker. and he had the gall to call barack obama arrogant. i agree with the other posters that bloomberg probably should resign at this point.

  • kel

    You guys better be prepared this is only Dec.Its scarey the people we have put in charge over us.Heaven help us!This woulod be a good time to stock up on some food just in case. check out they have FREE sample to try. There really good, only add water. Theyre also very inexpensive and have a 15 year shelf life. good luck

  • Mathilda

    Mayor bloomberg is usless, he is no leader, he must resign.

    • Bruce

      Makes me wonder just who VOTED for that moron – after breaking the rules on mayoral term limits. Cry me a river, New Yorkers!

  • mpm

    Your tax dollars NOT at work!

  • BillNY213

    Bloomberg is carrying his ban on Salt too far!

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