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Staten Island 'Forgotten' by Plows 48 Hours After Snowstorm, Residents Say

By Nicholas Rizzi | January 24, 2014 7:15am
 Residents of the borough blasted de Blasio's on snow removal on Thursday.
Staten Islanders Blast City's Snow Removal After Storm
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STATEN ISLAND — Never mind the Upper East Side — Staten Islanders say their borough was forgotten by snow plows, with many side streets seemingly untouched 48 hours after the start of the snowstorm.

A local City Council member has called for an oversight hearing after claims that the Department of Sanitation was slow to clear the foot of snow that fell Tuesday into Wednesday.

Councilman Vincent Ignizio's call was in response to tweets and posts on Facebook that ranted about roads being left unplowed or dangerous to drive on after the storm.

"SI roads still bad — It's ok to say 'we can do better' see what went right and wrong — evaluate DSNY response — oversight hearing is warranted," Ignizio tweeted.

Ignizio could not be reached for comment for this story.

While some residents complained that their blocks hadn't been cleared by Thursday, the sanitation department claimed the whole city had been plowed and salted by Wednesday night.

Vito Turso, a spokesman for the department, said because temperatures stayed well below freezing on Thursday, the salt wasn't able to melt much of the snow on some side streets.

"The rock salt is not as effective when you get below 15 degrees," Turso said. "There isn't much you can do beyond going out there again, trying to plow and re-salting. You need to have some moderating temperatures in order for the rock salt to work."

Dawn Cantay, 50, who lives on Wenlock Street in Mariners Harbor, said she saw trucks drive on her block four times on Wednesday, but her street still looked untouched on Thursday.

"It's annoying," Cantay said. "It looks like it isn't plowed."

Cantay said her car skidded on the nearby Morningstar Road when she drove her son to school and she almost hit a parked car. She said her block got the cold shoulder this year.

"I feel like Staten Island's the lost island half the time," she said.

Nearby, Granite Avenue and Princess Street didn't look much better. A resident of Princess Street, who didn't want to give her name, said hadn't seen a single plow drive down her block.

"Epic fail for snow removal and clean up on Staten Island. No plows, salt, or sand trucks in sight 2 days after the storm," photographer Maria Avitabile tweeted to the mayor's office on Thursday.

"We're asking for people's patience," Turso said. "People are concerned, they're used to seeing blacktop. We're not going to have blacktop for several days."

And while plowing delays on the Upper East Side got notice, and a visit from the mayor, who acknowledged less-than-perfect poor snow removal there, Staten Island residents said they got no attention.

"Staten Island got shafted just like UES where is the coverage? we are the forgotten boro," Samantha Grabkowitz tweeted.