Suffolk declines NYC's offer on snowplows

A snow plow clears slush and snow near

A snow plow clears slush and snow near the Long Island Expressway service road in Old Westbury, Wednesday. (Jan. 12, 2011) (Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan )

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As relieved New York City dug out easily from Wednesday's storm, Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered to send snowplows to Suffolk County, a gesture that was politely declined.

"We thank the mayor for his magnanimous offer, we're sure he is happy to reciprocate for the assistance we gave the city this fall after the tornado," said county spokesman Mark L. Smith. "However, our county roads are in great shape at this point and we are not in any need of assistance."

Pleased at how the city dug out so smoothly this time compared with the flat-footed response to the Christmas weekend blizzard, Bloomberg said he was going to send city equipment east to help Suffolk after it got "hammered."

With snowfall ranging from 8.8 inches in Brooklyn to 12.1 inches in north Bronx, New York was better prepared this time than it was for the blizzard. By noon, every street in the five boroughs had been plowed at least once, said sanitation commissioner John Doherty. Only about 22 ambulances got stuck, compared with more than 100 in the December storm, Bloomberg said.

"I am getting calls and reports from Astoria with people seeing more plows in Astoria than they have seen in their lives," said Democratic city Councilman Peter Vallone, a critic of the city's blizzard response.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz also lauded the city's effort and public advocate Bill DiBlasio said almost all city hospitals were immediately cleared, compared with just 10 out of the 55 immediately cleared in December.

Bloomberg credited pre-positioned snow equipment as well as the immediate hiring of private contractors and day laborers for the fast cleanup.

With Reid J. Epstein and

Mark Harrington

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