Mayor Bill de Blasio is putting his own stamp on the snowstorm, his first crisis as mayor, and after years of challenging city government from the sidelines, he is suddenly cheering it on, giving his team high marks for its performance. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
It is trial by snowstorm for Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"It would have been nice to have talked about how to handle a snowstorm in, like, an abstract exercise, but we didn't get to do that. We got the real thing," de Blasio said.
The real thing turned out to be a little less than 10 inches, blanketing the city. For the one-time critic of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's handling of the 2010 blizzard, the stakes were high.
He made an early morning decision to close public schools.
"We didn't want our children exposed to a situation that would be very windy, icy and very, very cold," de Blasio said.
As a Brooklyn resident, de Blasio is particularly focused on making sure the boroughs outside Manhattan see the snow cleared quickly. Some Manhattan residents, though, reported seeing more snow on the streets than they would have expected. De Blasio disputed the notion that he gave the borough short shrift.
"We are working in all five boroughs equally," he said.
It is clear that the new mayor is still settling into his new role. At one point, he flubbed some critical instructions for the public, but he quickly caught the error.
"If you have snow-related issues, problems, inquiries, call 911. Again, anything that is not an emergency, call 9 - excuse me, 311," he said.
De Blasio is keenly aware of the damage past snowstorms have done to previous mayors. He is determined to avoid the avalanche of criticism that buried those administrations.
"Based on the information I have right now, I give everyone an A for extraordinary effort and extraordinary effectiveness," he said.
Despite the serious nature of a snowstorm, de Blasio kept his signature brand of humor on display. At one point, he suggestively unzipped his jacket after a reporter asked how many layers the mayor was wearing.
Given the cold temperatures, the mayor might want to keep his jacket on.