New York

As Another Snowstorm Heads for NYC, City Council Flogs City Hall on Blizzard Response


Another blizzard is expected to hit New York this week as the city continues to reel from the post-Christmas snowpocalypse. City council members and agency officials spent several hours in hearings this afternoon, while the mayor’s office published its first preliminary report on the clean-up disaster. Details on this week’s storm and the city council’s snowy inquisition after the jump.

The National Weather Service is predicting 8 to 10 inches of snow in New York this week. The snow should start around 7 p.m. tomorrow night and get heaviest early Wednesday morning, but forecasters say it won’t be as strong or as windy as the Christmas weekend blizzard that people still can’t shut up about. [DN]

The City Council spent more than four hours today grilling city officials on the blizzard response. Transportation, Sanitation, Fire Department, and Emergency Management officials testified, along with Deputy Mayor of Operations Stephen Goldsmith. As with most hearings of this nature it was mostly an opportunity for individual council members to grandstand for the cameras while agency heads issued some pretty dispassionate mea culpas. [NYT]

The mayor’s office, meanwhile, issued its first preliminary report [pdf] on the mess ID’ing six major problems that hampered city workers, including 1.) officials’ failure to declare a snow emergency, 2.) the sanitation department’s inability to tell or report which streets were plowed, 3.) not having enough city employees on the street, 4.) not hiring enough private contractors to help out, and 4.) too many 911 calls.

The report also featured a 15-point “action plan” for future storms, including the installation of GPS systems in all sanitation trucks.

The City Council will have another public flogging on Friday, when it will assess the MTA’s response. It’s also holding a series of public hearings throughout the city next week, so you can get the residual (or renewed, depending on how tomorrow’s storm goes) bitching out of your system.

Today’s hearing, meanwhile, is still going on! And streaming live! The city officials are all done, and the city council is now taking testimony from witnesses, including the very passionate sanitation workers’ union chief:”During snow, you follow your orders,” who, incidentally, is really passionate about protecting people from snow.

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