QUEENS— It's been three full days since the first snow of the Blizzard of 2016 began to fall, and throughout the day on Monday, hundreds of streets throughout the five boroughs of New York had gone unplowed.
Particularly snow-bogged were neighborhoods in Queens, where residents like Joanna Hughes of Maspeth had choice words for how the situation has been handled.
"This has been like this since the snow started falling," she said as she surveyed the knee-deep snow that covered her block. "Not one plow. I didn't even hear one in the distance. I'm sure Mayor de Blasio won't get re-elected, not by folks in Maspeth and Middle Village," she said, referring to another, nearby neighborhood with dozens of unplowed streets.
Her neighbor, Christine Szulborski, said that she'd made multiple attempts to contact the city for help. "I called 311, I emailed 311, she said. "No response. So I sent [PIX11] an email, and you were the first to respond.
"I'm a social worker, and my dad is retired FDNY, and the first thing that came to mind," Szulborski said, was "what if there's a situation where someone needs help? An ambulance can't get through here. A fire engine can't get through."
She was among dozens who said they reached out to PIX11 after getting no help from the city to get their streets plowed.
"I'm kind of shocked you're here because I couldn't get to work myself this morning," said Wilfredo Jimenez of Woodhaven. His sister had contacted PIX11 after she'd fallen at the nearest bus stop, because her snow-choked street prevented her from using her car.
The situation prompted Woodhaven's city council member, Eric Ulrich, a Republican, to criticize Mayor Bill De Blasio's response to the snow emergency. Even some Democratic councilmembers in Queens, such as Jimmy Van Bramer, were critical of the administration.
Worse still, many residents pointed out that they had cleared their sidewalks, not only because it was the right, neighborly thing to do, but also because the city required them to, or they'd risk being fined.
"[I'm] aggravated," one Maspeth neighbor said. "You've just got to make do, y'know?"