Anger grows in New York over slow snow clean-up


Anger is mounting in New York and New Jersey over the slow pace of snow removal following the severe storms which brought the region to a halt.

Major thoroughfares in Manhattan have been cleared, but large parts of the city have yet to be ploughed.

Many residents are stuck in their homes unable to get to work, and piles of snow are hindering ambulances.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called the clean-up operation the worst in memory.

"We're hearing reports from all over of people not even having seen a plough by the afternoon of the day after," Ms Quinn told reporters. "This is a level of lack of clean-up that I really can't recall."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended his administration's response to the blizzard, telling reporters that his staff are working as hard as they can and "using every single resource at our disposal".

The city has hired 1,900 labourers over the past two days to shovel snow from pavements and streets, and deployed 28 front-end loaders to help dig out stranded vehicles.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Bloomberg said only 50 city buses remained stuck on city streets, down from 600 the day before.

He noted that the unusually large number of vehicles stuck in the snow had made the clean-up extraordinarily difficult.

Mr Bloomberg has been criticized for not putting enough effort into clearing New York's outer boroughs compared to the downtown Manhattan area.

Ms Quinn has announced that she will hold hearings to investigate problems with the clean-up.

In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie is under fire for taking a holiday at Disney World in central Florida while his state is reeling in the aftermath of the storm.

Electricity has been restored to most homes in eastern Canada after the storm caused widespread power outages. About 800 customers reportedly remain without power in the New Brunswick area.

More snow is forecast in some parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada's easternmost province.