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'I inherited a broken system': Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb pledges to fix city's snow removal plan

"I heard your comments, your concerns, and your frustrations. I'm frustrated, too."

CLEVELAND — The first major winter storm of the season in Northeast Ohio seemed to catch just about everyone by surprise, including local governments. 

The city of Cleveland, in particular, has faced criticism for not being better prepared to handle the task of snow removal. On Thursday, new Mayor Justin Bibb pledged to overhaul the city's current snow removal plan. 

In a video shared on the city's social media pages, Bibb stated that the city used "every truck, snow plow, and driver available, but it still wasn't enough."

"I inherited a broken system that needs significant overhaul and investment. I heard you. We need a new snow removal plan to ensure that we are better prepared for the next storm," Bibb added. 

On Monday, the city stated it had deployed 48 trucks, 12 road raiders and 13 small plows to clear the roadways. When there is between six to 12 inches of snow, it takes crews 24 to 48 hours to plow the whole city. The city reported that 15” of snow came down during the storm, "the largest snowfall in a single day in some time." 

The city of Cleveland has 292 residential subsections which encompass nearly 10,000 streets. By 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, snow removal for 158 subsections had been completed, or 54% of streets citywide. Just after 4 p.m., they said that "209 out of 292 residential subsections had been plowed, representing 71% of 10,000 streets citywide.

As Tuesday turned into Wednesday, crews had achieved 90% completion, with 265 out of 292 subsections reached overnight. Two-thirds of residential streets received their second round of plowing (193 out of 292 subsections) by Wednesday afternoon.

"My number one priority is the safety of all Clevelanders," Bibb continued. "I heard your comments, your concerns, and your frustrations. I'm frustrated, too. For too long, we've neglected to invest in delivering high-quality basic city services."

Bibb says he will meet with members of his adminstration this week and start working on what he termed as "actionable recommendations for an enhanced snow emergency response." An update to the public will be provided next week.

You can watch Mayor Bibb's remarks below:

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