Queens Residents on December Blizzard: The City Failed Us

Friday, January 21, 2011

City Council hearing on the December blizzard at Queens Borough Hall (Richard Yeh/WNYC)

New Yorkers' discontent with the city's inadequate response to the December blizzard continues. A City Council hearing at Queens Borough Hall Friday had residents lining up to describe how they were stranded in their homes for days, with unplowed streets, uncollected garbage, stranded busses and ambulances that did not reach the ailing in time to help. Here are some of their stories.

Richard Yeh/WNYC
“I called [911], and I called, and I called, and nobody answered,” said Laura Freeman, who believes her mother might have survived a heat attack if paramedics arrived more quickly.
RIchard Yeh/WNYC
Vishnu Mahadeo, with Richmond Hill Economic Development Council, said of Sanitation trucks driving with plows up, “What is the excuse with that nonsense? We saw that. We witnessed it.”
Richard Yeh/WNYC
Michelle Orenstein did not blame the city for her mom’s death on December 26, but said she had to wait 16 hours for the city’s medical examiner to show up.
Richard Yeh/WNYC
Giovanna Reid, district manager of Community Board 3, asks why CERT teams and volunteer ambulances were not called in. “Every decision cannot be made in Manhattan.”
Richard Yeh/WNYC
“I think we should look into Mr. Goldsmith. Maybe he's not suited to be looking after snow removal and Sanitation,” said Doreen Dileonardo, who is married to a city Sanitation worker.
Richard Yeh/WNYC
“We [seniors] live on fixed income. We live hand to mouth. A lot of us lost three days of pay. Who’s going to give us that money?” asked Italo Sgaraglia, with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4787.
Richard Yeh/WNYC
“It is hard to see a blizzard, especially from Bermuda. I know the mayor has a nice plane, but he should have been here,” said Mike Mulvaney, member of Community Board 6.
Richard Yeh/WNYC
“Clearly, the negative perception that we have two cities – Manhattan and the outer boroughs – was strengthened” by the city’s response, said Karyn Petersen, district manager of Community Board 10.
Richard Yeh/WNYC
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall: “My own experience of more than a half century of civic life in Queens tells me that something was amiss.”
Richard Yeh/WNYC
Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Richard Yeh/WNYC
“The mayor should have included in his state of the city address one sentence, one sentence, to all New Yorkers: ‘I’m sorry,'” said Councilmember Letitia James, who chaired the hearing Friday.
Richard Yeh/WNYC
Councilmember Jumaane Williams, chair of Oversight & Investigations Committee, called it a “farce” that city commissioners hadn’t been fired, demoted or publicly reprimanded.


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Comments [2]

DeAndre lapierre from TEXAS

stop whining! i just came from queens. of course there are going to be some delays with everything. its a blizzard. new york people are getting soft. i used to pride myself in being from new york but since 9-11 new yorkers have lost there edge! so in the words of the late great pimp c grow some hairs and get legit!

Jan. 23 2011 11:00 AM
Peg from Upstate

Get over it already.

Jan. 23 2011 08:25 AM

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