December 29, 2010 / Media / Brooklyn news / Podcast

YouBoob! Sanit workers caught in ‘Net destroying Heights cars

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklynites already furious over the city’s slow response to the Blizzard of 2010 found a new reason for outrage after a Brooklyn Heights resident broadcast a video showing a Sanitation Department tractor negligently demolishing three cars on Joralemon Street as residents screamed in horror.

The viral YouTube video from Monday morning showed an apparent disregard — or simple ineptness — by city workers as they inflicted devastation on the three cars, including a Housing Authority SUV driven by Eugene McArdle.

“Come on!” the Housing worker’s wife, Kathleen, is heard screaming on the riveting video, helpless as the snowplow also smashed up her daughter’s car near Hicks Street.

“Nobody leaves here until I get a police report!” she yelled. “This is ridiculous!”

No cops came by that morning, as crews dealt with the larger citywide disaster. The Sanitation Department said on Tuesday that it is “investigat­ing” the incident that destroyed the $37,000 city car, and two others in a maelstrom of twisted metal.

The three vehicles were still on the street on Tuesday afternoon, their windows smashed in and yellow paint — likely from the snowplow — pock-marking their dents and scratches.

It may not be the worst story of the great blizzard that struck predominantly in Brooklyn on Dec. 26, but it’s certainly one of the most baffling — especially considering the four-minute-long footage, which shows both the tow truck and tractor-turned-snowplow backing repeatedly into the McArdle’s cars and a third vehicle.

“They knew they were hitting the cars — I was sitting there screaming,” Kathleen McArdle told us. “But they ignored us. They just kept going.”

The city has been mostly mute on the subject, likely because of the incriminating evidence. The video — which, by Tuesday night, had been viewed 300,000 times and received thousands of angry comments — was posted at a time when footage can be disseminated instantaneously over the Internet, causing a public relations debacle for city agencies involved in messes that, in years past, would never have even been known beyond the block.

The Heights wreck wasn’t even the only Sanitation Department shenanigan caught on tape in the wake of the storm. Another YouTube video, posted by Coney Island resident Jason Letterman early Monday morning, shows three department snowplows parked at 18th and Coney Island avenues — while their drivers sit in a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts. Letterman claims that the trucks were parked there for more than five hours, and that both avenues are still covered in white powder.

“Obviously they’re saying they can’t do anything because there are cars all over the street,” Letterman told us. “But why don’t they take them somewhere else and get the job done? Sitting in Dunkin’ Donuts is ridiculous. They’re crippling the city.”

The city didn’t comment on the video by our no-coffee-break deadline.

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

KG from Marine Park says:
Finally at 2:16am until 3:50am, two sanitation trucks did get stuck on our block, truck 1, stuck in snow in front of my house, kept his truck running, causing fumes to seep into my home, getting me dizzy and caused me to vomit. I did advise the driver to turn the wheel to the left and lift the plow, to no avail. Truck 2, went backwards up the block to get out, as in trying to boost truck 1, didn't help. A caterpillar had to come, shovel in front of truck 1, and deposited a huge mound of snow, blocking a party driveway! Finally, they all leave, not before causing chaos. Having a neighbor come to move the car, as they and he though they plowed into it. What caught all our attention was the crunch, as if something was smashed. In general, the sanitation trucks are extremely noisy when picking up our garbage, but this was awful. I do have to commend the driver of truck 1, his persistence in shovcling and trying to move his truck was hard on him too, for him, it paid off! For myself, I have been ill all week and didn't need these fumes to make me worse!
Just sad the way clean up is going!
Dec. 29, 2010, 5:53 am
Ronnie from Brooklyn Heights says:
Sanitation workers-unions should all be investigated by the feds, for their conspiracy, to put lives at risk. gps devices to be installed on sanitations snow plowing trucks. they were seen triple cleaning plowed streets, to hide their criminality .
Dec. 29, 2010, 9:53 am
anon from manhattan says:
the SUV belonged to HPD not NYCHA (Housing Authority). Sloppy reporting again
Dec. 29, 2010, 10:47 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
Bloomberg finally saw his vision for NYC come true on Monday, with no cars, or bridge and tunnel trash, and stranded tourists spending money on his island. You could see the joy on the faces of Bloomberg and his DOT Bike Czar at their press conference on Monday, when he was telling people to go to the theater.
Dec. 29, 2010, 12:11 pm
Cliff from Fort Greene says:
Maybe if stupid people had not attempted to drive during the storm, there would be fewer stuck cars to remove. Maybe then the plows would have an easier time and more would have been cleared.

Even after the storm, there were way too many people trying to drive around in the snow. Individuals who could have, should have taken public transportation.

And of course, the city should have declared a snow emergency.
Dec. 29, 2010, 2:06 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
That's right Moshe...send in the untrained national guard to do it. The last time they used the National guard in NY city for something they weren't trained for they had the worse subway crash in history.

Who do you think the National Guard is? a bunch of snow plow operators?

BTW I am fairly sure, but not positive that the cars hit were illegally parked or using their permits to park on the side of the street that was supposed to be clear....although that doesn't make the sanitation drivers any better....
Dec. 29, 2010, 2:11 pm
Cliff from Fort Greene says:
By the way, I believe Bloomberg was mayor during 2004 when there was a bigger snow storm. That snow storm was handled fairly well.

And although I didn't vote for Bloomberg, I support his transportation policy. Cars are ruining the planet. Cars are bad for humans. They kill or sicken people in many ways. People that use them when there is an alternative are dooming our grandchildren.

Yes I have two cars but I've been trying to use public transportation as much as possible. Do I like it? No, its easier and more comfortable to drive. But I'm sacrificing a little of my comfort for my grandchilden - and yours.
Dec. 29, 2010, 2:16 pm
Blake from Ft Greene says:
Mayor bloonenberg your a piss ass. your ——ed up . i was waiting for the train this mornin and 5 trains passed by the platform without stoppin because it were jamed. i made no money today you —— mayor
Dec. 29, 2010, 2:43 pm
Susan from Gravesend says:
This is the first time I'll say it's not the dam police or MTA, because they was stuck in the snow with all the rest of US. Sanitation Department shame on you!!!!
Dec. 29, 2010, 4:34 pm
Mike Curatore from Carroll Gardens says:
It's time to privatize the City's sanitation services once and for all.
Dec. 29, 2010, 5:04 pm
alan from heights says:
What do you expect from the muslim loving incompetent bloomberg? He should be dragged out by his ears from his office and thrown in the middle of the street during rush hour! If it werent politicians, America would be a better place!
Dec. 29, 2010, 7:06 pm
Ron from Ft Greene says:
——head mayor wanted to save money. What a mess —— up he created. Who told sanitation not to clean all day sunday? Bloomberg your a ——
Dec. 29, 2010, 7:29 pm
jay from pslope says:
its all a Bloomberg plot to get rid of cars from the city so he can put bike lanes everywhere, oh wait he is already doing that anyway...
Dec. 29, 2010, 7:50 pm
Cleo from bed sty says:
Skillman st between park ave and flushing ave was not plowed once the snow is there as it was last monday I call 311. A zillion times already they conected me to sanitation and still nothing was done its now almost the 4th day after the snow . Mr Mayor I don't know what to do anymore
Dec. 29, 2010, 9:11 pm
Moshe aron Kestenbaum from williamsburg ODA says:
Cleo. I would call the governor, senator shumer and even Obama. By the way. Senator shumer has a big mouth he always makes sure that his voice is heard somehow he is very quiet now. Marty markovitz was really angry today. He made a lot of sense for a change when he spoke
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:23 am
Sakina from Clinton Hill says:
Alan from Heights: re your comment "muslim loving incompetent bloomberg". There should be no place for bigotry or xenophobia in America either.

Cleo: try reporting it online as well: good luck!
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:43 am
Albert from Bay Ridge says:
Where was the third car that was damaged?
Dec. 30, 2010, 5:01 pm

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