As residents continued to dig out from the city’s third-worst snow storm in history, Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) was still trying to get answers from City Hall about when side streets on the West Side will be cleared.
Ervin said he received phone calls all day Wednesday from residents who were unable to get out of their homes. He said he was frustrated with the city’s delay in plowing side streets.
While the city’s Streets and Sanitation crews paved the main streets early, Ervin said the 28th Ward’s single plow truck was diverted to the Downtown area to clear those streets, leaving the West Side community with no way to tackle the snow.
Ervin, speaking to AustinTalks at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, called the situation “totally unacceptable.”
“We have residents that are basically trapped,” Erivin said. “When I see trucks going past my office to go back to the Division yard to refuel, going past streets that need to be plowed … it’s irksome.”
Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) said her staff field called Wednesday morning trying to get information. Graham told the Austin Weekly News that her staff has been contacting churches and block clubs to help shovel in front of residents’ homes.
“This is going to take a community effort because there is too much snow out there for people to handle themselves,” Graham said.
Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) closed her North Avenue ward office Wednesday, giving her staff a furlough day. She told the Austin Weekly News that she was working from home and using e-mails and the phone to contact people.
The snow affected this week’s production of the Austin Weekly News. The storm knocked out power at the newspaper’s printer, delaying the Thursday edition until Friday.
Click here to see photos of the West Side, provided by our partners at the Austin Weekly News.