There is nothing left to do but be patient with the Sanitation Department’s efforts to clear the mounds of snow left behind by the Blizzard of 2016, northeast Queens officials said on Tuesday.
Community Board 11 District Manager Susan Seinfeld said that major plowing efforts have been undertaken in the area, and the main difficulty is a familiar one faced by residents after any large storm: figuring out how to dispose of snow without dumping into the path of street plows.
“At least some of it’s melting but it’s not going to go that fast because there’s just too much of it,” Seinfeld said. “What do you do with 30 inches of snow?”
Seinfeld says that tight space can result in street plows accidentally piling snow onto pedestrian walkways maintained by property owners.
Community Board 7 Chairperson Eugene Kelty said residents should stay home as much as possible to avoid getting stuck in city streets as plowing progresses. Kelty was concerned with reports of plows breaking down amidst mounds of snow in the streets, saying that new equipment for this service should have been considered earlier in the year during capital budget negotiations.
“We had problems, it was deep snow,” Kelty said. “You’re talking about a borough that got hit very hard.”
However, although it was difficult to clean up such a large quantity of snow in a short amount of time, even obscure streets have finally been reached for basic plowing service. The work continues as city vehicles make multiple passes to clean up after more than two feet of snow fell on Saturday — one of the most largest snowfalls to ever hit New York City.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has been widely criticized over the slow cleanup response in Queens, with residents of tertiary streets in Whitestone and College Point among those waiting long hours for city plows.