D.C. Mayor Promises Action After Metro Derailment




Washingtonians are cranky from days of digging out of the biggest snow storm the region has seen in decades, but one among us has an additional load to bear. Nearing his re-election campaign in November, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty is battling a budget breaking snow storm and this morning a Metro subway train derailment. On Friday's "Washington Unplugged," Fenty told Bob Schieffer that both emergencies will be scrutinized.

All commuters have now safely exited the train but Schieffer asked Fenty about his next plan of action?

"There is no good reason for a train to come off the tracks... there is going to have to be some serious ramifications and changes," the mayor told Schieffer between cell phone updates from officials.

Schieffer then asked about the snow emergency which hit the region this week and how the cost of snow removal has affected the capital city's budget.

"We've overspent the budget considerably. I mean, we have to. We average 15 inches of snow, and that would cost us about 6.2 million. We have about 60 inches already, so you can do the rough math. It may not be quite 4 times the amount spent yet, but its goin to be way more than 6.2 million," Fenty explained.

The mayor feels his administration has handled the above normal snowfall as well as can be expected. "Well you know, we had three storms," he said. The one in December - 18 inches, warmed up quickly, I think we handled like clockwork. Bigger snow, February fifth and sixth, 26 inches, froze pretty quickly, we spent a lot of time on the bigger streets making sure the city wasnt completely paralyzed. No question that getting the smaller trucks into the residential neighborhoods suffered a bit. We had them in there but we couldn't get to every one. And so those residential streets that froze before we could get to them had a lot of buildup."

Schieffer asked what lessons the mayor has learned from this winter mess.

"[A]ny responsible manager separates whats heppening from a review of what happens. Probably centralize management a little bit better. The other thing is, just like trains, the equipment starts to wear down after a bit, I suspect the budget that we submit to our legislature to have requests for newer trucks," he explained.

"I try not to concentrate on the politics of snow, I've been focused with the operations of snow," he said praising the work of city emergency workers.

Watch the full show above.


"Washington Unplugged" appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.


  • Michelle Levi

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