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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

New York's demolition derby: City clean-up crews wreck cars in frantic bid to clear streets amid apocalyptic post-storm scenes

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Smash-em-up: An outraged Brooklyn Heights resident captures a New York City sanitation crew continually running into a parked car in Joralemon Street. Crews are desperate to clear up after the big blizzard


- Stranded air travellers endure further airport sleep-overs

- Incoming passengers forced to wait on runway for six hours

- Medical crews given a 20-minute time limit to treat patients

- Angry New Yorkers turn on Mayor Bloomberg


New Yorkers were today struggling to cope with the aftermath of one of the biggest snow storms to hit the region, severely hampering public transportation and leaving thousands without power.

The city's sanitation crews are faced with the twin problems of banked up show and abandoned cars in the streets, and angry residents have rounded on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to demand a swifter clean-up operation.

Amateur film footage shows one crew continually running into a parked car and causing damage to at least one other as they fight against time to get the city up and running again.

A Brooklyn Heights resident caught the scene on tape, as the crew clearly threw caution to the wind and muscled its way out of Joralemon Street near Hicks Street.


Extensive damage: Almost clear of the parked car, the operator of the plough unbelievably swings the bucket into the back of the car, sending it into the car in front (the car's bumper can be seen lying in the snow)


An estimated two feet of snow piled up over the weekend, forcing the cancellation of 4,500 flights in the New York region alone - and closing down major airports in Boston and Philadelphia.

Trains and buses were also cancelled in the region and emergency crews were struggling to get toi the scenes of scores of road accidents.

While the Federal Aviation Administration said yesterday that the region's major airports were back open for business, all were reporting delays of of two hours or more.

The storm whipped through the Northeast from Sunday to Monday, stranding tens of thousands of travellers trying to return home after the Christmas holiday.

Elizabeth, New Jersey, just south of Newark, was covered by three feet of snow.



Summing up New Yorkers' moods: An exasperated resident has gouged 'HELP' into the snow on a car window on West 73rd Street. Many of the city's streets remain impassable


King of the hill: Martino Banella, 10, stands on top of a mound of snow in Time Square during a vacation with his family from Italy. Sanitation crews literally have a to move a mountain of snow


Underground and under snow: Around two feet of snow fell on New York over Sunday and Monday, disrupting air and rail travel and challenging motorists with blowing snow and icy roads. Subways also closed down


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it would take up to three days before flights would return to normal schedules.

The backlog of cancelled and accumulated flights since Sunday could mean that many travellers might be stranded through the New Year.

Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman told the New York Times: 'We have arrivals, we have departures, but we're still looking at a lot of cancellations.

'It could take days to clear because you had two days of no flights.'

And it's not just outbound passengers being delayed. Planes arriving in New York have been forced to wait on the tarmac for up to eight hours at JFKl Airport because of a lack of terminal space and customs processing capacity.


Buried: A Sanitation Department plough truck is stuck on West 16th Street in Brooklyn, New York. Other bogged and buried cars and emergency vehicles have hampered clean-up operations throughout the city


Landed and stranded: Aircraft landing at JFK have been stuck on the tarmac due to lack of space at terminal stands, meaning passengers have been sealed in planes for up to seven hours



Terminal delays: Meanwhile, piling up in the terminals, thousands of travellers and their luggage wait for their flights to be rescheduled. Many will still be waiting to get home into the New Year, say experts


CNN reported that a Cathay Pacific Airways flight from Vancouver that landed at 2.15am and was still on the tarmac in the afternoon.

A British Airways flight was stranded for seven hours and it was six hours before passengers on an Aeromexico flight were able to get off the plane.

Getting in and around New York remained extremely difficult because of reduced subway and bus services, and with many streets still clogged with snow.

In addition to the snow, many drivers simply abandoned their vehicles and clean-up crews cannot contact the vehicles owners or tow them in treacherous conditions.

Mr Bloomberg insisted that the city was doing all it could to clear streets of snow and abandoned vehicles, but he was drawing angry criticism from residents and political opponents for not doing enough quickly enough.


Sun and snow: New Yorkers are seen trying to go about their day as the snow remains uncleared. Mayor Michael Bloomberg - under attack over the city's slow response - has appealed for patience


Mr Bloomberg said that he did not know when all of the city’s streets might be plowed, adding: 'This storm is not like any other we’ve had to deal with.

When a reporter relayed people’s anger about what they believed had been a lackluster response to the blizzard, Mr Bloomberg interrupted with: 'I’m angry, too.'

City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said she would hold an oversight committee into the city's reaction in two weeks' time.

But she said the response was unacceptable, adding that 'the collective storm response was not anywhere near up to the standards New Yorkers are accustomed to'.

The mayor had angered New Yorkers on Monday by saying: 'The world has not come to an end. The city is going fine.'


Winter wonderland: Despite resident anger and calls for a faster clean-up, New York's children have been taking the opportunity to use the city as their playground


The Day After Tomorrow: Scenes in New York are reminiscent of, but not quite as bad as, the 2004 disaster film. Coincidentally, experts say it will be the day after tomorrow before things start getting back to normal


To thousands of residents trapped in their houses or streets - many suffering a lack of electricity or heating - Mr Bloomberg's comments were insensitive and totall off the mark.

Patchy or nonexistent service on subways, buses and commuter trains continued to hamper the city's efforts to get back to normal.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said subway service was operating but with outages on a number of lines, especially those open to the elements.

Some train service had also been restored on the Long Island Rail Road on its Babylon, Huntington, Port Washington and Ronkonkoma branches. But many others, including the Oyster Bay and Long Beach lines, were out of service.


White Christmas: Festive decorations at the Rockefeller Center are covered - and in some cases buried - in snow. Residents have seen their dream of a white Christmas turn into an annoying nightmare


Ploughing on: A bulldozer with the Independent Environmental Services Incorporate helps clear snow from West 50th Street. THousands of streets and sidewalks will have to be cleared before the city can start moving


Bus service has fared even worse, with many areas outside Manhattan having no buses at all because of impassible roads.

The epic blizzard has also caused an unexpected and life-threatening side-effect.
NYC medics are so busy that, for the first time in history, they have been given a time limit for performing CPR on patients.

The New York Post revealed that emergency services normally call a doctor for advice after working on a patient for 20 minutes. The doctor can allow them to contunue to revive a patient for more than an hour.

But, faced with an enormous backlog of 1,300 calls, the medics have been told to give up after 20 minutes and move on to the next case.




source: dailymail

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