First Of 5 Meetings Across All Boroughs Turns Into Vent-Fest

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Residents on Staten Island are still talking about the snow from weeks ago. The Christmas weekend storm dumped up to 30 inches on the borough — and the city spent days trying to cleanup.

On Tuesday night the people sounded off on their nightmare. It was yet another blizzard backlash, reports CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

Frustrated residents told the City Council about the Christmas weekend snow job. A local pastor and his congregation said they’re still buried some three-plus weeks later.

“I think it was shameless, shameless. That same snow turned to ice and the ice hasn’t been removed,” said Lloyd Land, pastor of the First United Christian Church in the Park Hill section of the borough.

It was the first of five meetings in all the boroughs, taking testimony on the lack of an emergency declaration to the hundreds of buses and ambulances that were stranded to the complaints from the city’s own politicians.

“If this blizzard was not considered a snow emergency, then what constitutes a snow emergency?” said Rosanne Friscia of Castleton Corners.

“The best vehicles in the world can’t get around a bus or a tractor trailer that’s stuck across an intersection,” business owner Steve Margarella said.

A study of 1,700 Staten Islanders shows:

* 83 percent didn’t see a snowplow till midweek.

* 78 percent were unable to leave home.

* 67 percent couldn’t get to work.

* 43 percent lost pay.

A representative from the city’s Department of Sanitation was at the meeting, taking notes and giving yet another flat apology.

“The response was not acceptable. We are continuing to assess the storm and our response,” Ignazio Terranova said.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn was among those blasting the city for what she called an epic failure.

“You shouldn’t have had to endure the poor cleanup that you did, and you shouldn’t have to come out tonight,” Quinn said.

So there were no answers from the city. The lone representative from the sanitation department did not take questions. The City Council members hope to have that fixed, as the rest of these series of snow hearings continue.

The next hearing is set for Wednesday night in Brooklyn at Borough Hall.

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