Baltimore, DC residents frustrated by slow blizzard clean-up

  • 27/01/2016
A worker shovels snow to clear a pedestrian walkway outside the World Bank in Washington (Reuters)
A worker shovels snow to clear a pedestrian walkway outside the World Bank in Washington (Reuters)

The streets of Washington DC are still clogged with snow, days after the US East Coast was hit by a blizzard.

It's the same in Baltimore, which led to a dangerous situation.

The snow didn't start a fire in Baltimore, but it spread to five row-houses when firefighters couldn't get their trucks to the unploughed street. Residents had to help drag fire hoses through the snow.

"My mother's house wouldn't have burned to the ground if we didn't have snow on the street," says resident Joe Keebler.

Mr Keebler and Debra Fetchik's mother lost her home.

"I'm just happy that my mother was safe," says Ms Fetchick.

Nearly 72 hours after the storm stopped, frustration in Washington DC is growing.

"I think that DC's snow removal plans are spring," says resident Gil Schwartz.

Mr Schwartz has had enough of the treacherous walk down a tiny, carved-out path.

"I think that three days is really outrageous," he says. "It really is. It really should be cleared off. There are older people here and people who really rely upon being able to get out."

Others took to Twitter using the hashtag "#snowstuck" to complain.

One woman posted 50 of her parents' neighbours are shovelling and snow-blowing their street instead of waiting for a plough.

The clean-up remains an around-the-clock effort as fears loom of a nightmare commute when the federal government reopens.

"Why is the city not doing what New York did, where they said anybody's who's over a certain age and able-bodied, we'll pay you to come out and help dig the city out?" says DC resident Chris Geldart.

"I don't care where you are in the nation, 24 inches of snow in an urban environment requires clean-up, and that's what we're going to see probably at least over the next 48 hours and going in to the end of the week."

DC schools plan to open tomorrow; other districts could stay closed all week. The US National Park Service says it removed enough snow from the National Mall to fill the Washington Monument more than 18 times.

CBS News