Post-Christmas Blizzard Lessons Learned, But Some Still Upset

Residents In Bronx Neighborhood Shovel Streets Themselves

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Sanitation Department is working hard to get the upper-hand on this latest winter wallop that dumped 19 inches on Central Park. They’ve deployed 365 salt spreaders, 1,700 snow plows, and crews working 12-hour shifts to clear the streets.

But for some New Yorkers, Thursday looked a lot like the day after the December blizzard.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he learned some hard lessons from the botched effort from the holiday storm. Crews were out in force, making sure Times Square was all clear and were expected to have all of the city’s main roads plowed by the end of the day.

Also Check Out: Latest Storm Photos | Video: Ex-Mets Great Directs 1-95 Traffic | Photos: Holiday Blizzard 2010

WCBS 880’s Pat Farnack with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb with Mayor Bloomberg on the cleanup

And while parts of the city looked nice draped in a veil of white, some said it was déjà vu.

Despite the mayor’s assurance that all of the city’s streets would be addressed by Friday morning’s commute, many residents were annoyed about the streets plow drivers initially avoided.

“This block looks the same as the past time. Actually, this is like the back road. They don’t usually pay too much mind on these streets,” Bronx resident George Rivera said.

Just one block off the Grand Concourse, Rivera was digging out his car and watching neighbors slip and slide through unplowed streets.

“I haven’t seen no plows for the past two hours,” Rivera said.

It’s clear that the city was better prepared this time than during the Dec. 26 blizzard for Old Man Winter, but not everywhere. It was obvious how the street-scape changed from plowed to unplowed as CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer crossed Morris Avenue on 164th Street.

One thing Kramer couldn’t understand is that she followed a city plow for several blocks, but when it got to one block it turned off. What did she find on the block? People were shoveling the block themselves.

“I was trying to flag him to come this way,” Bronx resident Mariano Clemente said.

It made driving on the block an adventure, to say the least.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria with Queens residents whose cars were snowed in by plows

The situation in Queens wasn’t much better, as CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown found out.

By early afternoon, the major roads were more blacktop than slush, but side streets – and sidewalks – were a different story.

“There are some streets that are plowed, but barely anything is shoveled,” Williamsburg resident Sara Duerto said.

Sound Off: How Are The Roads Where You Are? Let Us Know!

Kids enjoyed a rare snow day, but many adults did not.

“The steps need to be cleared at some of their train stations,” one resident said. “Just getting to them is very difficult.”

Philip Pelligrino was out early, trying to shovel his SUV out from beneath a mountain of snow.

“It just never seems to end,” he said. “I haven’t even made a dent yet.”

While many residents spent the day digging their cars out in the city, the mayor said he didn’t want people on the roads.

“Motorists should please refrain from driving. If you get stuck, your car will be towed at your expense,” Bloomberg said.

New York City schools were also canceled Thursday, which was great news for kids, but even better news for the snow crews, as it meant fewer people on the roads.

“We got a heavy rate of snow last night. Over a foot of snow in five hours so that’s a heavy, heavy rate, but we managed to keep all of the highways and primaries open,” Bernard Sullivan of the Department told CBS 2.

The post-Christmas blizzard saw plenty of vehicles stuck in the snow. Fortunately lessons learned that day were being applied to this storm.

“Now that the snow has stopped, we’re moving into the secondaries and tertiaries, so we’re optimistic that we’ll get all of that done today,” Sullivan said.

Clearing the streets remains our number one job,” Bloomberg said. “We asked the questions of what didn’t work last time and if there was anything we could do differently.”

The mayor closed schools for only the ninth time since 1978 and was happy to report that so far there were no medical emergency horror stories like last time, when there was a 1,300-plus call backlog and hundreds of ambulances were stuck in the snow.

“There have been some vehicles that were walked away from. People have left in the middle of the street. And there are a few buses out there, we’re being told. We’re learning from the 26th. We’re leaving that block alone till they clear it with the tow truck and we’re continuing on our route so we don’t get stuck behind them,” Sullivan said.

NYC OEM Cmsr. Joe Bruno with WCBS 880’s Pat Carroll and Michael Wallace

The city’s OEM Commissioner said throughout the night, 85 ambulances got stuck in the snow  but patients were tended to immediately and transfered into other ambulances.

Despite the volume of snowfall from this storm, a weather emergency was declared but not a snow emergency. According to the Department, that extra warning was not needed.

“The weather emergency was perfect. It warned everybody. The MTA was proactive, I mean they called buses in at midnight when the conditions got as bad as they did with that heavy rate of snow, so I mean there were far fewer vehicles stuck,” Sullivan said.

“I think the emergency that was called was the right one,” he said. “Staten Island got the most snow but our teams out there are doing very well, so we’re not having any problems in any of the particular boroughs right now.”

“Most car owners heeded the emergency declaration that we issued,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor is so anxious for this winter to be over that he’s even going to have another go around with Staten Island Chuck on Groundhog Day next week. He’s even going to overlook the fact that two years ago Chuck bit him. Said the mayor:  “never forgive and never forget.”

  • Doris Perch

    As of 10:45 PM, Wellington Court in Staten Island 10314 has not been plowed. This is a highly populated area with apartment buildings and private homes. People cannot get off the street. Those who make the attempt are getting stuck. There are many senior citizens who depend on access-a-ride to get around. Most people need their cars to get to work, even those that would like to take mass transit need cars to get to park and ride areas.

    • MaddieC

      As of 12:30pm Saturday afternoon, 1/29/11–Village Court a narrow dead-end in Gravesend, Brooklyn 11223 still has not been plowed. There are elderly senior citizens on the block who have lived here over 50 years who are not well. It would be difficult to get an ambulance down here. This is inexcusable! Also inexcusable is folks digging their driveways out and piling the snow in the middle of the street so others attempting to TRY to get off the block end up stuck.

  • Dennis

    In Whitestone, the secondary roads in my area have not been plowed, and even streets where the roads were plowed, they were not salted. Remember last night when the Mayor said the pubic schools will be open, but then did a complete 360. You know why, right? Because he knew many of the roads where the schools are located were not going to be plowed, plus he knew that most teachers wouldn’t be able to make it in.

  • cygon

    liberal idiots are still contorting their arguments that colder winters means there’s global warming. They won’t let the facts get in the way of their pseudo-science ideology. Just like their arguments that an unborn babies are human but are not persons.

  • Geepa

    You New Yorkers sound like those folks in New Orleans after Katrina.

    Lesson #1: Never depend on the gov’ment for anything.

    • lahood

      yeah, i can’t even get them giant blocks of government cheese no more

  • BDBerzerker

    HA, thundersnow. We get that all the time here in Oklahoma. Most of us are used to the extremes. We get blazing summers and brutal freezing winters and prepare for outings and outages accordingly. Love that cold weather camplng.
    Always knew AlGore was running a scam.
    Feel sorry for ya’ll up north. The failures of a few, wear on many. Are your elected officials serving you or themselves?

    • stan

      Global Warming is entirely consistent with more snow, warmer ocean temeperatures mean more moisture, more moisture means more snow. A couple cold months in one location is meaningless. It will be 70 degrees here in the Rocky Mountains tomorrow. Is 70 degrees in January at 5000 feet in the mountains evidence of global warming? NOt one day, but a pattern emerges when the big picutre is looked at–and the big pictrue is that the entire globe is warming on average at a very dramatic rate.

      • stan

        meant ‘picture’ :)

  • lilbangladesh

    Marxists don’t even really exist anymore! Geesh! The concern with global climate change (global warming is a misnomer) is that with all the extra carbon dioxide in the air that humans put there, we might at some point have a runaway greenhouse effect and end up like Venus. In the meantime, we end up with colder, snowier winters and hotter summers. Storms get stronger causing more economic dislocation and property damage. Of course, no one knows for sure what will ultimately happen, but doesn’t it make sense to control the one known human element (excess carbon dioxide) to make sure things don’t get worse? While it’s true that the earth has been warmer in the past, never has there been so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Before, the earth’s natural climate cycles took care of everything, but we don’t know if the earth can handle all the stuff we’re pumping into the atmosphere!

  • Ellen

    The snow removal in Boston is tough also. Not only plowing but where to put the snow, and it’s not even February yet.

  • Vincent

    What i learn from this snow storm is the city isn’t learning anything. All side streets in Flushing, Queens are still waiting for truck come to plow the snow.

  • Barbara Schuster

    FYI–Brookfield CT–15 inches





  • Lee

    In Maryland a collaborative team of high school students and their teacher advisor pegged this storm even when our local weathermen totally missed the call. I knew we were going to get hammered a good 24 hours before the snow started. There is no excuse for the snarled traffic in the Baltimore-Washington corridor: anyone following this particular forecast was off the roads hours before the main snow began to fall.

  • Andrew

    Exactly as Piers Corbyn predicted, months ahead of the actual event. It’s a weather cycle, and has nothing whatever to do with global warming.

  • Jason


    • Lee

      The US National Snow and Ice Data Center reports that Artic ice INCREASED by 409,000 square miles.

    • Walter Thompson

      Just out of curiosity is there anything that can happen weather wise that does not prove global warming ??

      We are coming out of an Ice Age do you thing that might effect things ?

      • oswald

        actually, we are in a Little Ice Age. check out Robert Felix: iceagenow dot com

    • alwyr


      More snow = global warming
      Less snow = global warming
      no snow = global warming

      Global warming has been THOROUGHLY DEBUNKED as a ‘scientific’ theory (when we discovered all relevant data had been fraudulently ‘jimmied’)

      That’s why you liberal morons now talk about CLIMATE CHANGE. Try getting with the program, Jason…….It’s Climate Change, O.K.

    • Aghood

      More precipitation does not result from melting Icecaps. In fact global warming would cause precipitation to fall less often but in higher amounts when it did fall.

      The reason, warm air holds more moisture so it takes longer to reach saturation but when saturation is reached there is more water to fall.

      All the snowstorms have a lot more to do with the upper level blocking and NAO then global warming.

  • forgotten

    what happened to the investigation of sanitation workers slacking off in the Christmas blizzard? I knew it back then the politicians are sweeping it under rug somehow. they will never challenge the city union and lose votes. they get away with murders.

  • Lois Miceli

    I live on a street that has a fork at the end of it. For some reason they only shovel the right side of the street leaving me to try to figure out how to get out the left side of the street (where I live).

    • GL

      Sorry Lois Miceli, you have it backwards. If you turn around and look the other way, it’s the left side of the street that’s been shoveled. You live on the right side.

  • kentex1146

    Pagine Mr. Algore, Paging Mr. Algore. The massage therapist is waiting for you in the penthuse suite.

  • greedo

    North Jersey seems to have a good handle on things so far. Most of the main roads are cleared and the side roads are passable. Then again, we don’t have someone like Bloomberg as our ruler – that guy could mess up a cup of coffee. I feel bad for you in NYC. You are still stuck with Bloomberg for a while :(

    • Los Albondigas

      You can keep Chrisco and we’ll keep Bloomie.

      • Walter Thompson

        Then enjoy the snow, the slow removal, the union corruption the massive amounts of debt. And the exiting of most high end tax payers.

        What a cesspool. You can keep bLOOMIE no one else would want him.

    • almas

      I respect mayor bloomberg and y’all should too cuz he a man that takes care of things. Jersey gets snowdays and what not but bloomberg is really serious when it comes to education

  • Nick

    We could compact this snow and sell it in the tropics this summer. Witness the first snow compacting factories.

  • Scott Chester

    Seriously now folks, y’all know how hail forms around little pieces of dust particles in the atmosphere, right? Well all this snow is coming from something similar & this is what it is; all the verbiage flying around in cyberspace via emails, texting, ftps, cell phones etc…all this airborne cyber-dust is getting so thick in the atmosphere that it attracts moisture which forms into snow & because the north east area of the country is so populated this is where most of the cyber snow is falling. Simple, now any other questions?

    • Jefe


  • Vince

    To all you Gore-lovers who STILL think that all this snow is the result of global warming, please show me WHERE in Al Gore’s book “Earth in the Balance” it says there will be snowier winters. If it’s not there then you are all full of HOT AIR!!

  • The Libertarian

    Remember everyone:

    Cold weather and snow is evidence of global warming.

    Hot weather and no snow is evidence of global warming.

    And if we all just send more money to the politicians and let Obama take control of the energy industry, the government WILL CONTROL THE WEATHER. Which should be easy, since Obama has already declared he can raise and lower the level of the worlds oceans.


    • Kevin J

      People used to joke “Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it!”

      The great joke of our time is that some damn fools like Gore think they CAN do something about!

  • mak

    Not a plow to be seen (or heard). 112th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens.

  • fedup

    Shut up already!!!!!! Even the liberals pushing the global warming issue have already admitted that global warming doesn’t exist!!! That its just a cycle that repeats itself over long periods of time. 2010 might have been one of the hottest and oooooooof course you’re gonna throw that one out there because that is what liberals do. You get a little bit of info and run it into the ground within a day. Why don’t you take a look at the 2009 report. Summer temperatures were below average for the U.S. that year. Early 70’s were hot, late were cooler, 80’s were cooler at the beginnind and hotter at the end. The 90’s were basically average temperatures. Early 2000’s were above average heat and now were in the 2nd decade and its getting cooler. Its a cycle. Get off your high horse.

  • borntobepolitical

    I know, it’s global warming, eh no, climate change caused by cows breaking wind that is causing this.

    Vegetarianism is the answer.

    Wait, maybe a high profile ex-Vice President will take up the cause. Make a note of that.

    • nathan

      borntobeignorant – linking us to your spam-blog? Get a real job loser.

  • Chuck T

    Sunspots or lack thereof, cause climate change…end of story. To prove my point,… put another log on the fire and see what happens…DUH! It just so happens that the last decade saw a surge in sunspot activity… now sunspots are quieter…..WOW what a coincidence!

    • borntobepolitical

      No, climate change is caused by cows breaking wind DUH!

    • borntobepolitical

      There you go messing up the Global warming/climate change thing with facts. You are a DENIER!

  • JT

    Still 24 inches to go for a seasonal record (from about 100 years ago) in NY.

  • Snidley Whiplash

    Although Mother Nature couldn’t be reached for comment as to why so much snow fell, the left-wing press were quick to point out that Sarah Palin is from Alaska, and it tends to snow a lot in Alaska. Therefore Sarah Palin is responsible for this mess!

    • borntobepolitical

      Are you KIDDING????

  • Anawynn13

    Wait…New York LEARNED something??? That can’t be so. They never learn anything from their mistakes, which is why they’re broke. And for those of you that think the global warming con is real, just keep sending them your money. What a cash cow you libs are.

  • Dean

    Can the city please just tow and impound any cars that people abandon in the streets? It’s an absurd situation. If you’re willing to interfere with the cleanup by walking away from your own car, there should be some kind of penalty, without it messing things up for everyone else.

  • Jason

    These comments amuse me. Do you honestly think 1 foot of snow never fell before in history prior to man “creating global warming” ?

    Hate to inform you of this, but we have only been keeping (somewhat) accurate weather data for about 200 years. That is a blink of an eye in geologic time scale. If you are naive enough to believe that man can alter the climate significantly enough to “create global warming” and alter weather patterns, you really should seek some professional help.

    Most of the climate models can’t even accurately forecast a year out, let alone 10, 20, or 30 years.

    • Robert, Atlanta

      Jason, thats a mostly accurate statement, but really our record keeping accuracy of temps is abt 30 years old. Data has been so manipulated, ie. the Hockey stick theory, and temp devices located above parking garages, restaurants, etc., that its become a Joke.
      Forecasters have been messing up weekly forecasts for years and Models, which do not include cloud cover, the sun, or the ocean currents CANNOT be relied on to simulate a real forecast. As the Northern Hemisphere has experienced Brutally cold weather over the last 3 winters its a shock to hear, Govt. granted scientest still pronouncing these were some of the hottest years on record. Hmmm. Gotta follow the money tree on that absurd headline.

    • c'est moi

      They can’t even get the day-to-day forecast right, let alone a year out.

  • eric

    It was also the COLDEST on record for those on the southern hemisphere numb nuts!

  • sheila

    58th street and 4th ave brooklyn not plowed trying to cross the street is like trying out for the ski team

  • Paul Polar

    More snow please! i want another blizzard and more snow!
    and everyone stop complaining it’s winter!

  • jnsesq

    How not warm must things eventually get for you to put this Marxist con job to rest already? If historic facts are insufficient, how many future ones will you need or is this simply a religious phenomenon with you and the rest of the eco-socialists? You want to understand climate change? Look to the sun, not my tailpipe. Good grief!

    • Jack

      Jnsesq — come on, for God’s sake. Every time someone like you strains themselves to label environmental concerns as ‘Marxism’, it brings the USA one step closer to being a second-rate nation. If every American were as ignorant and self-indulgent as your comments suggest, then we’re all going to wind up working for the Indians and Chinese.

      For the love of God — wake up and start using your God-given brains to improve your country! Don’t just be another ‘good-ol boy’, wrap-yourself in the Stars and Stripes, ‘my country wrong or right’, Neo-Con bubba!

      • rodhatesmarx

        Actually, Marxists bring us one step closer to a second-rate nation. Always have, always will.

  • Ken

    I guess the NYC unions decided to actually let their people do their jobs this time around, right?

  • Kevin Johnson

    Thanks BM. Just went to DrudgeReport for first time. Great site. A quick place to get caught-up on the news of the day. Go Sox.

  • adam

    Simply amazing that people try to call this global warming! Even more amazing that they apparently seem utterly convinced that they are “smart.”

    It does not get cold enough to snow every year in the Northeast. I grew up there and am an avid skier. In fact many low pressure systems there wind up ending as rain due to the counter-clockwise rotation of a low-pressure air-mass fetching warmer air from the ocean’s surface as the low moves to the east.

    One of you “smart” people explain how all the glaciers melted during the dinosaur era….

    • Jack

      Adam — you need to get educated on this subject. Start with a quick Google on “global warming”, “impact on ocean currents”, and/or “North Atlantic oscillation” — to begin understanding how global warming manifests itself as a worsening of winter weather patterns for certain locations.

      I realize it seems paradoxical until you understand the science — and be intellectually honest enough to accept the evidence, even if it asks you to throw away your preconceptions. Then, let’s talk.

      • Miguel

        So, You think when the Wooley Mammoths were powering themselves through the ice and snow right where we live now, that Global Warming was in effect? Anyone who’s done any real research knows that Al Gore and his cronies are just that, money grubbing thieves who intend to rob the people of the world for their own economic benefit!

        Forget your condescending snobbery. It only makes us hate the self-righteous liberals lemmings ever more!

      • Robert, Atlanta

        Jack, our planet has been thru Numerous temp changes ranging from Iceberg earth to a planet much warmer then now. Change is inevitable and nothing is static. The models presenting GLOBAL warming have to have data put into them by men/women, and it would stand to reason that the models to be accurate would have to include the Sun, cloud cover and the Oceans. As to date, NO one fully understands or can articulate with sizeable knowledge how any of those 3 mechanism effect climate or actually Work. The models do not even take into judgement either of those 3 Most illuminating of elements.
        I would also point out that MANY of the scientist who 1st espoused a Global warming change, have now changed their minds to say, No, man is not effecting climate more then just the Heal island effect. Thats not to say All of the scientist are jumping ship, but many have, and treating this as a Political maneuver, which is what it was, is as big a hoax as declaring Y2k the end of times.

    • AdamsBoyfriend

      “Weather” is different than “climate”. Read a book.

      • adam


  • Greg80

    GLOBAL WARIMING:ice caps melting H2O vapor meets up with low pressure = measurable amounts of snow
    or would you rather have rain

    • Jerell

      Actually one inch of rain equals ten inches of snow. And no this is not global warming. Al Gore invented that, just like he invented the Internet.

    • Kevin Johnson

      The “average” snow to liquid ratio is 10:1. This is saying that if 10 inches of snow fell and that snow was melted it would produce 1 inch of liquid precipitation in the rain gauge. Now go put some gasoline in your snow blower and start blowing.

  • ChrisQueensNYC

    I am amzed on how all NYC weather reporters, note I do not call them meteorologists, got it wrong even as late as last night. I go to an amateur weather blog and these guys called it right on since sunday.

    • Mary ann

      What is that amateur blog, please?

  • J

    74st Queens, Between 32nd Ave & Northern Blvd still not plowed. Cars making out there own ways. It seems just like the last storm.

  • Eduardo Rey

    If you knuckleheads had any basic understanding of science, you would understand why it is global warming that is affecting the weather patterns and causing these extremes of heat in the summar and cold in the winter. Just go back and stick your heads in a snowbank becasue you’re too dense to learn.

    • John

      Hmmm, what flavor is your Kool Aid?

    • Alex

      Um, maybe its just you know WEATHER. I love that each side takes any event as proof of their own infallibility.

    • Chris

      Why do the man made global warming cultists not answer the obvious questions like, why are they finding ancient civilizations under the melting glaciers in Greenland?

      That means that is was much warmer before the ice age began and that warming was not caused by man. Probably volcanoes or something else. Did you know volcanoes put out much more pollution than all the car exhaust? Are you going to tax and regulate volcanoes?

    • jnsesq

      Hey, Ed. Read what I told BostonMurph and learn.

    • Walter Thompson

      Hey ER

      I will make you and deal and pull my head out of the snow bank if you will pull your “man made global warming” head out of your a..

      Maybe it is time for you to pull it and learn yourself.

  • Ron

    Where is AL Gore? I forget he is off counting his bazillions and laughing about all of the hysteria he has caused. Chicken Little was a laughing stock. Al Gore and BARKIE OBUNGLER are rockstars?? Gp figure……

    More proof that the weather will do what it wishes….. Global warming is the biggest hoax ever inflicted upon us….

    • Vince

      The Goracle and Owe-bama might be offended by your “hate speech”. Be careful. The IRS might suddenly have a problem with your tax return.

  • Vince

    Would someone please tell Al Gore to send some of that global warming over here. Thanks.

  • Dutra

    Just a bunch of weenie babies.

  • Jim Sullivan

    It’s Chilly Out.

  • nick d

    pelham pkwy area in the Bronx is a mess the roads are still not done for rush hour

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