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City blizzard response cannot be repeated

The last blizzard was an unmitigated disaster, compounded by the fact that the city was so unprepared for this storm, although the administration knew for a long time that it was coming. An investigation into why so many neighborhoods were left stranded after last week’s winter storm is paramount, as a matter of public safety and health, regarding unplowed streets, abandoned vehicles, snowbound hospitals and garbage accumulation.

The lack of action by the city Sanitation Department raises grave concerns. We usually see plows on the streets the same day, but Sanitation painfully dropped the ball on this occasion.

We demand answers from the mayor and city agencies regarding their glaring lack of preparedness for this blizzard, deeply concerned that more winter storms are ahead. The hardworking taxpayers of our great community and city cannot endure another recurrence of this nightmare of negligence, which ground our city to a halt, endangered the lives of many New Yorkers waiting for emergency response vehicles hindered by impassable street conditions, disrupted mail service, precipitated unnecessary health hazards and deprived residents of vital income so necessary in these harsh economic times.

Additionally, more decisive steps should have been taken to keep drivers off the roadways and prevent so many abandoned vehicles from obstructing the city’s snowplows. The administration must be ready for the next big storm.

Residents in the outer boroughs again feel like the stepchildren of Manhattan waiting for available plows and protest this obvious failure of government to provide basic services for everyone. The anger, worry and frustration that New Yorkers felt during this unprecedented slow city response must be avoided in the future.

This is a tragedy — the recurrence of which we must avoid at all costs.

Albert Baldeo

Ozone Park

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