It's been two days since Blizzageddon rocked our tranquil city, and many outer borough residents are growing restless over the lack of plows. Yesterday an 87-year-old couple told us that they worried they wouldn't be able to get out if there were an emergency, and readers from Bayside to Kensington to Ridgewood have told us that there has been little to no plowing in their neighborhoods. Even the politicians are pissed.
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. of Astoria said he didn't see one working plow in his neighborhood yesterday. Today he told us, "We've seen a few more plows around here, about two or three, but what we haven't seen is any salt trucks. Without the salt the plows can't get to the blacktop, so even if they do come the roads are really dangerous." When we asked what Bloomberg should do, he said the mayor "needs to stop sounding like Baghdad Bob. 'Everything's fine! We've won the war!' No we haven't! We can see the streets aren't good!" Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty reminded the Times that it took the city 34 hours to plow the streets of 20 inches of snow after the 1996 blizzard, so by that calculation the work should be done any minute now. However, some people aren't holding their breath for the government.
Stranded New Yorkers are coming together on Snowmageddon: The Clean Up, a website where people can report stuck cars and unplowed sidewalks and those with shovels and snowblowers can come to the rescue. Right now it looks like there are more problems than solutions, with cars stuck, "shovels needed," and a report of a van driver stuck on the road for 15 hours! The tipster wrote yesterday afternoon, "An airport shuttle driver has been stuck on my block since at least about 10 PM last night. Plows haven't come through this street at all, and he's been told by towing companies that if the streets aren't clear there might not be much they can do. I've offered him coffee and run out to get him some snacks, but he really just wants to get out of there!"
There are some Good Samaritans out there. Carlos Calderon of Maspeth and his son took it upon themselves to rescue Navy Officer Andrew Lauda and his family who had been stuck on the LIE for 18 hours. The family had abandoned their car and sought the heat of a nearby stuck bus, where Lauda called a local TV station. Calderon heard what was going on and sprung into action. He later told the Daily News, "He's doing a good service for our country so we should give him a little back."
Stuck on a Queens block for 15+ hours.
Stuck on the LIE for 18+ hours.
Abandoning your car in the snow drifts on the highway and huddling in a bus stuck in the snow for heat.
And Bloomberg said the following:
"This city is going on. It's a day like every other day," Bloomberg said, suggesting people go out and shop or take in a Broadway show. "There's no reason [for] everybody to panic."
Sure, there's no reason for BLOOMBERG to panic - he's not been huddling in a bus buried in snow for warmth after abandoning his car on the LIE for the last 18 hours.
Bloomberg's accountability moment is coming.
His poll numbers have been quite good - over 55% in the last poll - but people don't feel warmth toward him or actually like him. The approval rating he has is related to the idea that he is a competent technocrat who can gets things done and make this city run right.
With the news that he allowed crooks to steal $80 million bucks, can't get the city plowed after 14-20 inches of snow (take a look at this map - some areas of the city got just a little over a foot) and doesn't see a problem with either, the Mayor of Accountability may just get his own accountability moment.