Snowstorm Mayor’s First Challenge

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

 Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed reporters at a press conference in Woodside Friday morning, to discuss the response to the snowstorm that dumped up to 10 inches of snow on the City. Photo by Luis Gronda


Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed reporters at a press conference in Woodside Friday morning, to discuss the response to the snowstorm that dumped up to 10 inches of snow on the City. Photo by Luis Gronda

Mayor Bill de Blasio got a stern test of managing the City on his third day after a strong snowstorm hit New York City last week.

The storm, called snowstorm Hercules, brought about 10 inches to the City, bringing Gotham to almost a standstill, as schools and many businesses closed on Friday.

De Blasio was forced to get to work quickly, devising a plan with Dept. of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty and other members of his cabinet to clean the City’s streets while temperatures dipped below 20 degrees. He was also seen shoveling snow outside of his Park Slope home after the storm passed.

The new mayor held a press conference last week in Woodside to update the media on the snow clean-up.

Both he and Doherty, a holdover from the Michael Bloomberg administration, warned residents not to go outside unless it was absolutely necessary due to the low temperature and icy roads..

Queens residents and City workers did their best to dig themselves out of the storm on Friday. Photo by Ira Cohen

Queens residents and City workers did their best to dig themselves out of the storm on Friday. Photo by Ira Cohen

“I want to say to my fellow New Yorkers, if you want safe, clear streets, stay home and let these good folks at Sanitation do their job to clear the streets,” de Blasio said.

Keeping young children out of freezing temperatures and inside their warm homes was the main reason de Blasio said he decided to close public schools on Friday. The safety of the children was paramount when making that decision, he said.

A lighter moment occurred towards the end of the press conference. After a reporter asked de Blasio how many layers he was wearing to keep warm during the cold weather, the mayor zipped down his fleece, indicating he had two layers on.

“Do you want me to go farther?” he said, jokingly asking to strip tease in front of reporters and other sanitation workers. “I have an undershirt also.”

He was also asked if his son, Dante, petitioned him to shut all City schools down due to the inclement weather.

“If Dante was not lobbying me, there would be something wrong with him,” he said. “Of course, he’s 16.”

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.