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Outer Boroughs To Mayor: Don’t Forget Again

Residents Say City Better Beat The Storm; L.I. Preps Underway
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Jackson Heights on Dec. 29, 2010.

The scene in Jackson Heights on Dec. 29, 2010, three days after the blizzard. (Photo credit: Arlene Calandria)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many people in the outer boroughs are still steaming over the snow clean-up from the last blizzard.

Streets were buried for days.

Now residents say it better not happen again, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

In Park Slope, people spent late afternoon Tuesday inside supermarket buying. Women were seen walking away with shovels in the street. There was a man outside carrying two bags of snow melt. Back inside supermarket again, people were either carrying grocery bags outside or pushing carts.

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They weren’t quite sure how bad Tuesday night’s storm was going to be. But they were stocking up. Either to shovel or melt the snow away, or to make sure there’s food. Betty Jones had some difficulty getting her cart over to her car, so CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman lent a hand.

When asked what the most important item to stock up on is, Jones told Guzman: “My vegetables. I was out of vegetables.”

At Square Hardware in Astoria, Queens there were some shovels left, but the snow shovels were gone. Across the street at the Trade Fair supermarket Zin Dani’s cart was loaded, but with mostly the same three or four items – bread, eggs, vegetables and milk.

These are the same neighborhoods of course that got hit twice: from the blizzard and from City Hall forgetting about cleaning up. Robert McNeill of Park Slope saw the hearings on Monday.

“And all I got from those hearings was, there wasn’t one person responsible for what happened,” McNeil said, later pointing, “He did it. He did it. He did it. He did it. But nobody in charge did anything wrong.”

When asked if she think the city will do better this time, Jones said, “I’m praying. I’m praying.”

Over on Long Island the name of the game is keeping seniors safe and satisfied. In Franklin Square, 78-year-old Joe Lorenzo said he still has the last storm’s snow piled in front of his home.

“It gets icy — slip slidin’ away — you know that song? Slip slidin’ away, that’s what happens. That’s my fear. I don’t want to get stuck in the house!” Lorenzo told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

Risks and dangers from the snow and ice are very real for the elderly.

“We see people with broken hips coming into the department all the time,” said Dr. Mark Hoornstra, Director of Emergency Medicine at St. Francis Hospital.

“Nobody wants to be a shut-in, but sometimes that may be the best thing to do,” Dr. Hoornstra said.

Be patient for a day until streets and sidewalks are safe, Dr. Hoornstra said, but many Long Island villages and towns hope it will be hours — not days — to clear a path. Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray wants all 16 senior shelters open.

“We have backup generators at every single one of our senior centers, so even if electricity went down, we’ll still have heat, all of the amenities, and our senior centers, and have our buses,” Murray said.

“It’s a home away from home and we just love it. So we shovel ourselves out in the morning and if we can make it here, we make it. And last Monday was the only day we haven’t made it in 15 years,” Valley Stream senior Lilyan Frezza said.

Throughout the storms the seniors rely on their daily warm lunches and much needed companionship.

“We have card games, tai chi, calligraphy, scrabble, canasta, bridge, the men play poker and pinochle,” Marie Gambino said.

It’s hoped this senior center and others like it will remain open — even through a monster storm — and serve as an emergency shelter for the community.

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