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Some Bronx, Queens, Staten Island Residents Say Plows Neglected Them

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Streets around the outer boroughs in New York City were still covered with thick snow Sunday, a day after a blizzard dumped more than 2 1/2 feet of the white stuff on the borough.

Some residents were fit to be tied.

As CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported, it was difficult to maneuver around side streets in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, with lots of snow and nowhere to put it. Some of the streets were just plowed for the first time Sunday evening, and residents said the delay was unacceptable.

Plows came through Mulford Avenue, around 7 p.m. Sunday -- for the first time after residents complained that their street and others in the area have been sorely neglected.

"You can't even call 311 because they don't even pick up the phone now," said Frank Libal of Pelham Bay. "Even if they made one pass yesterday, this would have never gotten to the way it is now. This is terrible."

For most of the day, Libal's had a layer of snow on it, and mounds piled up in the road -- only made worse by people trying to dig out.

It created quite an obstacle for drivers attempting to pass through.

"The roads are terrible," said Edil Montes of the Bronx. "It's pretty difficult to get through some of the streets."

The roads were no match for a sport-utility vehicle that got stuck. Joann Gama spent most of the day digging out her car -- but can't even leave her unplowed street.

"Look at this block -- it hasn't been touched," Gama said. "My car is clean, but how am I getting it out of there tomorrow? I can't jump two feet of snow. I don't have a truck. So how am I getting to work?"

The frustrated residents want to know why Mayor Bill de Blasio isn't paying more attention to their borough.

"This is a total disgrace," Libal said. "Now he has a thing for the boroughs -- don't ask me why he does this."

"He has to do a better job," added Gama. "He definitely has to do a better job, because that's ridiculous."

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Similar complaints were seen in Queens, where some residents said their streets were nowhere near as clear as the runways at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports.

Bill Kornienko said he wants Mayor de Blasio to take a look at his street – 58th Avenue off of 73rd Place in Maspeth, Queens. A snow plow has not come by at all, he said.

"I kept calling, and nothing's done yet. I keep calling, I keep calling about seven times already, the Sanitation Department," he said.

Kornienko said he is worried because he is in poor health. He said he would die before anyone could get to him.

Kornienko's neighbor, Robert, was equally disgusted, 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reported.

"These cars probably ain't going to be moving off this street for like three or four days, which is not right. People got to get to work," he said. "Why didn't they plow this road? Every other road was plowed."

Residents of other streets, including 84th and 85th streets off 57th Avenue, also reported not seeing a plow.

As CBS2's Steve Langford reported, plow teams also ran into trouble in parts of Queens. One city snow plow made it to 222nd Street in Bayside, Queens Sunday morning, but got stuck in front of a wall of snow.

"They made it up like one tenth of the block, then they left -- and that was it -- told me to call 311 to call a bulldozer," said Rob Postrel of Bayside.

And it was not just residents who were frustrated. On 77th Street in Jackson Heights, a sanitation worker was left a private plow struggled to free itself.

In Jackson Heights, 32nd Avenue was completely clear. But the perpendicular 76th Street was completely covered in snow and people were walking in the middle of the road.

"I called 311, 'Please send someone to clean my street -- at least I can go to work,'" said taxi driver Hassan Mohammad.

Mohammad dug his taxi out, but his street had yet to be plowed.

The sound of frustration also echoed throughout Middle Village, Queens, CBS2's Valerie Castro reported. Busy Metropolitan Avenue was clear, but it was a completely different story on side streets.

"What about us?" said Jason Rosaeo. "We're stuck here."

Rosaeo got stuck on 69th Road around 6 p.m. Sunday, and there he stayed.

"Came up this way because every other block was closed off, and I got stuck right here," Rosaeo said.

The efforts of four men did not help, Rosaeo said.

"Grown men, just as big as I am, couldn't move the car -- and we're all wondering what happened to the Sanitation Department; why they didn't care about these blocks," he said.

Juan Correa decided to do something himself in Middle Village, and hired a private truck equipped with a plow blade. His sport-utility vehicle had been trapped on the street since Saturday night.

"Right now I have to pay a guy to pay me out… $300, but I got to do what I go to do," he said. "I got to work tomorrow."

CBS2's own live truck also got stuck in Queens. Castro got behind the wheel, but the tires just kept spinning.

The truck eventually got out, but Rosaeo said he will hope for more help come Monday morning.

"I'm just going to camp out here for a little bit so my car is safe, and hopefully in the morning I'll have maybe guys help push me out," he said.

The mayor conceded that more plowing was needed in Queens in a Sunday morning news conference.

"I will say I want to see more in Queens, in particular," the mayor said. "I'm certainly not satisfied with the condition of some of the roads and some of our neighborhoods in Queens."

He mentioned several specific neighborhoods.

"We have real issues that we're still working in in Corona and East Elmhurst, and Sunnyside and Woodside, so we're bringing a lot of our equipment out of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx over to Queens to keep pumping up the effort here. We've got 850 plows now focused on Queens," the mayor told WCBS 880.

Problems also have been reported in College Point, and a Twitter user in Woodhaven posted a photo of snow-covered 83rd Avenue.

Meanwhile on Staten Island, snow-covered roads were finally cleared Sunday night. Plow trucks were dispatched Sunday evening to the Arden Heights area, for what residents said was only the second time in the nearly 24 hours after the snow began falling.

The first time, trucks did not finish because they got stuck.

"They have a ton more work to do before anyone can even go to work or school tomorrow morning -- even though de Blasio did say that these schools will be open, which I don't know how because no one is going to get there," said Jessica Stein of Arden Heights.

On Saturday night, became stuck in the snow in the Etingville section of Staten Island. Ariana Induddi of Etingville reported that streets had not been plowed in the neighborhood since the afternoon, and neighbors had to help shovel the ambulance out to get to its destination.

CBS2's Dave Carlin also found snow sitting in the middle of Marx Street in Castleton Corners late Saturday night.

CBS2's Alice Gainer checked out Staten Island again Sunday morning and found that Marx Street had been plowed overnight, but some other residential streets, including Walters Avenue, had not.

Staten Island residents have felt as though they are the forgotten borough when it comes to snowstorms. They've been complaining to the mayor's office for years, saying the plows reach them too late or not at all, Gainer reported.

De Blasio was on Staten Island on Saturday touring the area and making sure everything was going as planned. He said then residents should be patient with the plows.


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