January 23rd, 2014
08:09 AM ET

DeBlasio: 'More Could Have Been Done' in Snowstorm Cleanup

New York Mayor Bill deBlasio dug out of his second snowstorm within two weeks of taking office on Wednesday and initially defended his administration's handling of the clean-up.

But later in the day, he acknowledged that after surveying the area and speaking with residents, earlier efforts to clear roads were insufficient and promised a continuing effort to get the job done.

With 11 inches of snow in Central Park and 6,300 miles of roads to clear, deBlasio said at a news conference in Brooklyn in the morning that anyone who felt their neighborhood was not plowed was mistaken.

While he admitted some streets might not have been cleared and promised to redouble efforts, he emphasized that "no one was treated differently and they need to be mindful it's not respectful to the workers out there plowing the streets."

DeBlasio then issued a statement later in the day acknowledging that the cleanup could have been done better.

"While the overall storm response across the city was well-executed, after inspecting the area and listening to concerns from residents earlier today, I determined more could have been done to serve the Upper East Side," deBlasio said.

He ordered the Sanitation Department to "double-down" on cleanup efforts on the Upper East Side. As a result more crews and vehicles were put into action.

"Our crews will remain on the streets around the clock until the roadways are clear in every neighborhood, in every borough, across New York City," he said.

DeBlasio's initial comments were in response to a front page New York Post article accusing him of "bungling" the clean-up when snow began falling a few hours earlier than expected on Tuesday, causing car accidents and traffic across the city.

DeBlasio said he didn't expect two snowstorms back to back, but admitted New York City has a rich history of dealing with storms and this is what he signed up for when he ran for mayor.

"If you start in the morning with no snow and end the day with a foot on the ground there will be challenges," he added.

A CNN team traveling throughout Manhattan on Tuesday night over a period of five hours saw very few plows and spreaders as the snow piled up.

But deBlasio said based on everything he saw and heard, the clean-up was sufficient and if more needs to be done he would do it and he would not stop until it's over.

DeBlasio, a progressive Democrat, won an overwhelming victory in November, succeeding Independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who served three terms.

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  1. Lar 5

    DeBlasio and his staff should get one message from this botched snow removal. Get real.The upper East Side. while some parts are wealthy, the vast majority of the area is made up of tens of thousands of ordinary hard working people living in walkups, brownstones, and older apartment buildings. There are hundreds of small businesses, grocery stores,barber shops , shoe repairs, cleaners, small diners, hardware stores etc. etc.as well as 3 very important hospitals. It's not all rich Park Ave. That message must be heeded.

    January 23, 2014 at 11:21 am | Reply

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