Monday, January 03, 2011

New York City Freeing Itself From Snowy Grip As Investigations Commence Into Poor Snowstorm Response

New York City streets are now finally passable of the icy grip of the snow for a bit as the warmer weather has finally melted a significant amount of snow - which the City has finally plowed from streets. It's still not ideal, but a damned sight better than this time last week, when Mayor Mike Bloomberg was saying things were business as usual as much of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island didn't so much as see a snowplow in sight and snow emergency routes were impassible due to lack of plows and stranded vehicles of all sorts.

We'll be getting investigations and hearings starting next week, so those reports about sanitation department work slowdowns or other work actions may get new life. The City's Sanitation Department appears to be overcompensating for the lack of snow removal earlier in the week

And since the snow will keep melting (although it wont completely disappear by the end of the week when another potential snow maker will come on through, the City is now griping about the lack of garbage pickups. Again, this is a health, safety, welfare issue - and the garbage pickups were halted in the wake of the snowstorm but the garbage trucks can now be tasked with garbage removal.

Throw in the potential for manhole explosions due to saltwater intrusion into electric power underground vaults and stray voltage shocking pets while walking, and the inevitable potholes the size of Mt. Rushmore, there will be plenty to gripe about in the coming weeks.

That didn't take long. Mrs. Lawhawk forwards along a 1010wins news report of a manhole fire that required a building evacuation due to high levels of carbon monoxide:
The melting snow and salted road eroded cables below sending smoke and flames shooting out of manholes Monday in East Harlem.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports

The Fire Department evacuated the Shield Institute building on 107th Street after elevated carbon monoxide levels were reported at the location.

Seventy-five clients from the center, which services disabled adults, were transferred to Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center.

The FDNY and Con Ed are evaluating damage to nearby transformers.

The manhole fires closed off E 106th Street to E 109th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. Check traffic and transit here.

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