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Newark residents fuming as streets remain unplowed

Posted: 9:20 PM, Jan 25, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-25 22:35:18-05

NEWARK, N.J.— Although it was late January, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was feeling plenty of heat from residents in his city.

The Mayor held a Monday afternoon news conference where he quickly announced, "We have  plowed at least 5,000 miles of road in the city already. We have a lot more to do."

Mayor Baraka spoke from inside of the city's Office of Emergency Management and made it clear that he had heard the critical voices of many from within the city, "I know there are a lot of people out there that are aggravated that are frustrated about how fast we are getting this done. I just want to let everybody know we will get it done, no matter how long it takes."

The Mayor admitted the dig out has been a daunting challenge for not only residents but also for members of his own team.

However, most frustrating to a number of residents that PIX 11 News spoke with, is the fact they had not seen any city workers.

When we asked one resident if she had seen anyone from the city in the neighborhood, she quickly responded, "No, only you guys."

As a result of the many residents who were trapped in their homes, the Mayor felt obligated to ask for forgiveness during his news conference, "I apologize to those folks who were not able to get to work today or had any other inconvenience because of the snow storm."

Kaleena Gobolt was digging out her car from an unplowed Baldwin Avenue when we caught up with her.  For the 32-year-old who had to miss work for the last two days, the response from the city does not add up, "It just doesn't make no sense."

When PIX 11 News took a stroll, residents were quick to point out where their unplowed street stood, "They said that we have to be patient. They are coming." 

When asked if their patience was running thin? "Yes very thin," responded one resident.

Crystal Knight says that even the simple act of a phone call has been challenging.

"We tried to call the emergency numbers. They get very nasty and they hang up on you. So there is nothing else you can do but just sit here and wait," Knight said.

Knight sums up the situation in five words, "It's bad. It's pretty bad."

It is even more challenging to absorb when one considers everything she and others have had to endure as well as the financial impact, "The street haven't been plowed. No one has come through here. We did all of this.  We're trying to move the snow over so we can get out to go to work.  I am trying to go to work today, but I couldn't go to work, because I had no way to get out. So now I'm missing a day's pay and nobody is going to reimburse me for that."

Michelle Brant shared with PIX 11 News her loss of trust in the city and its Mayor Ras Baraka, "No faith at all because you still can't get out if you're doing it by yourself. No faith."