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Snowstorm Clean-Up


A Disaster Response

This week's snowstorm has made it hard for deliveries to get through in New York City, even those destined for homebound senior citizens.

However, Citymeals-on-Wheels, an organization that prepares and brings meals to the elderly throughout the boroughs, was one step ahead of the game. Executive Director Marcia Stein said the organization delivers "Emergency Food Packages" several times throughout the year in anticipation of an emergency situation. She said "We never wait until there's an emergency when we have to get to the homes of 16,000 elderly people." Stein said you can't linger until the disaster strikes, but must take action beforehand. The organizations system assures that its elderly recipients won't go hungry when delivery vehicles can't reach their homes. Citymeal's deliveries were completely halted yesterday because of the snowstorm and the organization is still having problems today, especially in the outer boroughs.


Adjectives like "unacceptable" and "inadequate" continue to be used to describe New York City's response to this week's blizzard. A lot of outer borough residents said they're still dealing with unplowed streets and stranded cars. Councilwoman Letitia James said the city did a poor job cleaning up and keeping its mass transit system running smoothly. "We run the possibility of not being able to respond in the event of an emergency" said James, also Chair of the Council's Sanitation Committee.


Queens state senator-elect Mike Gianaris says he barely made it into his office today. He describes New York City's clean-up efforts as "pretty poor." "There's no excuse, for almost forty-eight hours after the snow started falling, to have streets that have yet to see a snow plow drive down them" said Gianaris earlier today.


Both James and Gianaris agreed hearings must be held to investigate what exactly went wrong and how the city can prevent it from repeating during the next storm. James says the City Council will hold hearings early in January to address the city's response to this week's storm.