Bloomberg Declares Victory Over Snow Storm

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg said the city's response to the snowstorm Wednesday morning showed it had improved its clean-up and preparedness methods since the bungled handling of the Dec. 26 blizzard.

"Sometimes you get a curve ball that you weren't ready for, and next time you try to get ready for that curve ball, that kind of pitch as well," Bloomberg said Wednesday.

The storm, which began late Tuesday, dumped 9.1 inches in Central Park and more than a foot in some areas in New Jersey and Connecticut. The mayor vowed a faster and more efficient response to the storm this time. There were 106 private contractors helping to clear the city's tertiary street and 1,000 laborers who cleared bus stops and cross walks.

"Our goal for this storm was not merely to get back to business as usual," Bloomberg said. "Our goal was to deploy a more effective snow response operation than ever, more aggressive and more accountable, based on the lessons that we learned in the last storm and that's what we've done."

Snow totals ranged from 12 inches in the Bronx to about nine inches at Central Park, and about six inches at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports on Wednesday, far from the 20 inches that fell during the post-Christmas blizzard that debilitated the city and drew the ire of New Yorkers.

Bloomberg disputed claims that the improved storm response offered his administration redemption for the messy clean-up that ensued after the post-Christmas blizzard.

"I think the city's response for nine years, over 70-odd storms, has been exemplary," he said. "Things did not work out in that one storm. I look at what we did last night and this morning as an opportunity to see how we could do it better next time."

Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, in her first big announcement, said the city's public schools would remain open Wednesday. All field trips were canceled, she in a statement released just after 5 a.m. Wednesday.

"We understand that's not perfect, but it's the best we could do," Black said about the timing of the announcement.
Public schools have closed only six times since 1978 for a total of eight lost educational days.

The snow did disrupt some forms of travel around the area, with the region's three major airports had more than 1,700 flights canceled flights. Rail service was also affected.

The mayor says garbage pickup should resume Thursday or Friday.

On Long Island, up to 17 inches fell in some areas causing dozens of minor accidents, but no injuries. Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy said police recorded 63 crashes and found 48 disabled cars on the highway. Out of the 1.1 million customers that The Long Island Power Authority services, only several hundred reported losing power Wednesday morning. There is still a 12-hour county "state of emergency" that was ordered at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Yonkers has also declared a snow emergency, which is in effect through Sunday, after more than a foot of snow piled up.

Bloomberg promised to eventually put GPS devices on all snowplows. He said a pilot project initiated during this week's storms was successful and showed the low-cost devices are easy to install and effective. No word on whether the public will have access to the truck locations during storms.

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Comments [11]

oscar from ny

i use to not lyke Sarah Palin, but after her speech today, in love her.

Jan. 12 2011 09:16 PM

In response to the parent who wrote in about Murrow High School not opening on time:

Department of Education spokeswoman Marge Feinberg tells WNYC, "I spoke to the principal. There was no student who had to wait outdoors. In fact, the school administration assigned security and deans at the door to ensure students do not turn around and go home. On Wednesdays at Murrow, the school day begins at 9:15 am. When students come in early, they are directed to a home room, or the cafeteria if they want breakfast or the auditorium."

Jan. 12 2011 03:02 PM
Grandma from Bellerose

I am so happy my grangchildren go to a catholic private sch. As of last night at 6PM every parent rec a call that the sch. was closed Then it was posted on the sch. website. At least there are some who thinks of Children First Always.

Jan. 12 2011 02:20 PM
Chris from Manhattan

Black's failure to exercise good judgment today is our first indication that she going to hide behind and perpetuate the status quo. So much for "outside the box."

Jan. 12 2011 01:06 PM
paul from Staten Island

A Winter Weather Emergency is declared. We are asked to say off the streets, yet the schools are open? After a heroic effort getting two students to two different schools, I was told that the students would spent the day together in the lunchroom, thus no instruction.
So...what's the point?
I learned my lesson. I won't be fooled next time!

Jan. 12 2011 09:38 AM
Bronx HS teacher from Westchester resident/Bx

Local news looks at Manhattan and says "streets are clear, great job Bloomberg!" In the Bronx, streets are not plowed - even in front of schools, even in front of elementary schools. An elementary school near my high school, on Waring Ave, is never plowed, even though there are many yellow school buses putting our youngest children at risk.
p.s. Teachers do not get parking spaces, we park - most of us - on city streets--unplowed streets with mounds of snow and cars that are owned by local residents. (And Bloomberg largely took away our right to park on streets reserved for faculty and staff!)

Jan. 12 2011 08:23 AM

My daughter got up early to get to Murrow High School for an early class, which was canceled. Her school is saying that it is on delayed opening, not opening to 10 am. She has to sit outside the school for 2.5 hours in the cold before they open! I told her to come home. If your on the air people read this, please tell people to check with their schools--information is not posted on the school website for Murrow.

Jan. 12 2011 08:09 AM
Michelleypie from Queens, NY

You've got to love that the DOE website has a big posting that says "Children first. Always." This is NOT putting children first - to put more cars full of kids on slippery, snowy roads is not showing a regard for the children at all. Worst of all? After opening schools, he says to only go on the roads if necessary. Well, now he's MADE it necessary. Good job.

Jan. 12 2011 07:47 AM
H from Brooklyn

It is far too dangerous out there. They should at least be delayed.

Jan. 12 2011 07:43 AM
John from Little Neck

I second that , Cathie Black had her first chance to prove that she although lacking an educational background has the backbone to prove that safety of children and teachers is more important than State Funding. This decision proves that most business and political leaders manage as puppets and lack the confidence to make managerial decisions that are sound and prudent. Think of the expenses the city will have to get schools free of snow with the rush of over 1 million students and parents commuting not to mention absentee teachers that have over an hour commute , with school parking conditions being less than ideal.. Maybe one might read this and actually let it sink in.

Jan. 12 2011 07:43 AM
I am Superman

A stupid decision (her first) as chancellor. The sidewalks are impassable and the streets are deadly to traverse. With many teachers coming from long island, expect lots of them to be out today. Bravo Ms. Black on proving you are out of touch with the real world.

Jan. 12 2011 07:03 AM

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