Fresh snow storm bears down on New York
NEW YORK - New Yorkers, still reeling from one of the biggest snow storms in the Big Apple's history, faced a fresh dump of the white stuff Friday as officials vowed to be better prepared this time.
The city was paralyzed for two days during a massive post-Christmas blizzard. But only half a foot (15 centimetres) of snow was expected to fall over the New York region through Saturday, compared to nearly two feet (61 centimetres) of snow December 26-28.
Trash that piled up on the snow-clogged sidewalks last week is only just beginning to be removed in southern Manhattan and some poorer neighborhoods of the Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx boroughs.
Several local officials have been fired and an investigation is underway over the mishandling of the response to the last snow storm.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who took an unusual amount of flack over the city's response and recognized the city's services were lacking, has seized the mettle to show he is on top of things this time.
On Thursday, he announced a series of new measures, after complaining that he had not been kept well informed of the evolving situation in December.
Ambulances, which were often delayed for hours last month during the storm, will now be equipped with snow chains, while inspectors armed with video cameras will travel across New York's five boroughs in order to follow the situation in real time.
GPS tracking devices will be installed aboard snow plows.
The MTA transport authority has set up two bus and subway emergency control centers.
At the city's three main airports -- JFK, LaGuardia and Newark which were shut down at the height of the December storm -- travelers were already experiencing delays but no flights were canceled.