Blizzard Costs Still Piling Up for City

Spokesman for comptroller calls number of claims filed in connection with blizzard unprecedented for single-weather event

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The word 'HELP' is written on the window of a car covered in snow on West 73rd Street on December 28, 2010 in New York City. Two days after a blizzard pounded the city, many of the city's streets remained unclear.

    Nearly a year after a Christmas blizzard dumped more than two feet of snow on the city, burying residents in their boroughs for days and preventing medical personnel from helping people in need, the costs continue to pile up for the Bloomberg administration.

    The city has already paid $1.5 million to settle more than 570 lawsuits filed by beleaguered residents and businesses.

    Still, 622 lawsuits remain, mostly filed on behalf of New Yorkers whose property fell victim to sanitation crews struggling to clear the roads after the crippling December storm, reports the Daily News.

    A spokesman for Comptroller John Liu told the paper the number of claims associated with the blizzard is unprecedented for a single-weather event.

    Apart from the settlements, the storm also cost the city $30 million in overtime and used up its entire $40 million snow removal budget. 

    The massive storm also became a blight on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's reputation. Bloomberg, along with his top officials, were staunchly criticized for not responding quickly enough to the outer boroughs and for failing to call a snow emergency.

    In a public grilling before the City Council in January, key commissioners outlined a series of administration errors like having poor communications with plow trucks, neglecting to hire enough private snow removers and waiting too long to marshal emergency resources. 

    They also detailed reforms designed never to repeat their admittedly "unacceptable" response to the Christmas weekend storm that socked the city.