Public hearing held on blizzard response

BROOKLYN - A public hearing was held today to try and determine how the city could have better prepared for the Christmas weekend blizzard that dumped more than a foot of snow in some areas.

City Council members, Deputy Mayor Steven Goldsmith and other city officials from the FDNY, Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Sanitation discussed what went wrong before, during and after the storm.

During the meeting, council members spent hours questioning why a snow emergency was never declared following the debilitating storm. Members say they believe it would have made it easier for emergency vehicles and plows to get down clogged streets.

In response to the problems faced during the blizzard, the mayor's office has released a 15-point action plan, which includes equipping sanitation truck with GPS for two-way communication, improving tow-truck deployment, securing private contractors and a website for citizens to request help.

A separate meeting will be held Friday on the MTA's response to the storm. A public hearing on the response is scheduled for Jan. 19 at Borough Hall, starting at 6 p.m.

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