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Storm’s brewing: Don’t blow it now

With another snowstorm on the way tonight, can Mayor Bloomberg redeem himself?

With another snowstorm on the way tonight, can Mayor Bloomberg redeem himself?

Expectations were low at yesterday’s City Council hearing, during which the city was lambasted for its pathetic response to the Dec. 26 blizzard that dumped as much as 20 inches on some areas.

New York is now bracing for a forecasted 7 to 14 inches of new snow that’s expected to start falling at 7 tonight and last through 6 p.m. tomorrow.

During the hearing, which Bloomberg did not attend, officials were eager to offer details on new tactics that will be employed today, from putting chains on ambulances to outfitting selected sanitation trucks in Brooklyn with GPS-equipped two-way phones.

But many of the city’s planned strategies, including a social networking tool for reporting blocked streets, won’t be ready for today’s storm.

Sanitation, transportation and emergency-management officials tried to deflect blame yesterday while admitting mistakes, describing poor communication, unequipped response teams and expressing surprise at the storm’s strength.

But council members weren’t impressed, with more than 40 members lobbing questions like, are Brooklyn residents second-class citizens? Why was only one city employee canned? And who, exactly, is in charge of this city?

“I’m upset about it just like you are,” Sanitation Chief John Doherty told council member David Greenfield, who complained about unused plows. In the storm’s aftermath, Doherty gave the city’s snow-removal workers a ludicrous “A-plus” rating for their efforts.

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