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Some Upper East Side Residents Unforgiving After de Blasio Visits in Snowstorm's Aftermath

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TWC News: Some Upper East Side Residents Unforgiving After de Blasio Visits in Snowstorm's Aftermath
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Residents and commuters on the Upper East Side say it was a lot easier to move around Wednesday, 24 hours after a storm dumped significant snowfall on New York City.

Mayor Bill de Blasio made an unannounced visit to the Upper East Side Wednesday to listen to New Yorkers and see the area for himself.

After visiting, he ordered the Department of Sanitation to double its efforts to finish the clean up on the Upper East Side.

The de Blasio administration said that traffic prevented plows and salters from working, while traffic officers didn't help because the conditions made it too dangerous. They returned to the street Wednesday.

Many people NY1 spoke to welcomed the mayor's visit and his call for more attention to the area's streets, while others were less forgiving.

"Oh God, that was absolutely crazy weather," said one person. "And moreso, I found that there was no preparation from the city point of view."

"I like de Blasio but I still think, it's like we're getting screwed in Manhattan," said another woman, who welcomed the redoubled effort to clear the roads, especially the side streets, but was also skeptical.

"That would be great. Let's wait till he moves in, let's have a couple of storms," she said. "'Cause he's not living here yet, so when he moves and he tries to get stuff out and he sees it's a mess, maybe he'll do something."

Alternate side of the street parking rules are suspended through Thursday, but residents will still have to feed the meters.

The city brought in reinforcements to clean up after the snowfall.

In the midst of the storm, the Department of Sanitation made a call for pre-registered emergency snow laborers to help remove snow and ice from bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants and step streets throughout the city.

NY1 caught up with some of them as they braved the bitter cold to help out.

"The conditions are very bad. People can't get around," said one. "So we're out here just helping out in the areas that are hit hardest."

"Basically this is extra money for my pocket because I got to pay bills," said another.

For more information on how to register to become an emergency snow laborer, call 311.

The Department of Sanitation says applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be eligible to work in the United States.

The freezing winter weather is sending fuel supplies down and prices way up.

Prices for propane and natural gas are now at record highs.

Higher natural gas prices are also leading to higher wholesale electricity prices.

Utilities are snapping up gas at almost any price to run power plants and to meet higher-than-normal winter demand.

Propane users could be paying 100 to 200 dollars more than just a month ago to fill up.

Not all New Yorkers were bothered by the snow and extreme cold.

The Bronx Zoo sent out the photo at left of its brown bears frolicking outside.

They felt right at home in the freezing temperatures and nearly a foot of fresh snow.

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