Deep freeze follows the snow

January 21, 2011 3:18:36 PM PST
In the aftermath of yet another snow storm comes the coldest weather of the season.

They were getting rid of the snow while they still could any which way they could in Forest Hills because they knew once the temperature drops this weekend snow will be that much harder to remove in the bitter cold and partially cleared roads will become very slick.

Joanne Palmer figured she better get out before that happens.

"A mess. A very dangerous one," she said.

Along Queens Boulevard, some were salting the sidewalks and others were working the deep freeze to their advantage by shoveling the snow.

"I gotta get a job. I gotta pay mortgage on my house," Freddy Urena said.

Urena and others called 3-1-1, and sanitation was paying each of them 12 dollars an hour to clear the crosswalks.

On Manhattan's Upper West Side, the concerns were much the same on Friday. Early on they were pushing through thick ice while trying to avoid oncoming traffic.

"It's hard cause you don't wanna go in the road, but sometimes you have to, to kind of avoid all the slush," Alex Dimson said.

As the day wore on, they were wondering how thick the layers of ice would be by tonight.

"Especially if they don't put any salt or anything down. It's treacherous. I almost slipped coming in here already," Bob Taylor said.

Another big concern is buildings without heat. Oscar Ray Ruiz has been complaining a lot about his apartment building in the Bronx. There's heat in the day, but he claims not at night.

"I'm worried, it's cold out. You have elderly people, people who are sick. They need heat and hot water. Well, forget about the hot water, they need the heat," he said.

With the bitter cold coming the city will have extra code inspectors on duty this weekend.

The rule is between 10 pm and 6 am building owners must maintain an indoor temperature of 55 degrees when the outside temperature falls below 40.

The city strictly enforces that rule, or else.

"If the owner does not make the repair, the city will step in and do emergency repairs and we'll bill the owner. If the owner fails to pay for the repair we did or the contractor did, then we would lien the building," Mario Ferrigno of HDP Code Enforcement said.

According to city officials, there have been a lot of complaints about Ruiz' apartment building.

On the phone, the landlord explained most of the problems have been fixed.

During our visit, another tenant complained it is constantly cold at night, but another defended the new landlord.

"All the time when I call the landlord or I call the super, they answer my call and they fix the problem," Zoveida Batista said.

The city knows in this weekend's cold complaints will go up. City officials promise the law will be enforced.

"The next couple of days are going to be frigid. We insist that heat and hot water be a given, not something that comes and goes," Councilman Jimmy Vacca said.