WTHR takes closer look at Mayor's Action Center snow complaints

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WTHR heard the complaints after last month's big snow storm. We wanted to know where most came from and what they involved, so we asked the city for a list of calls to the Mayor's Action Center from January 5th through January 10th.

The city had a record 10,000 calls to the MAC the week of the storm.

Mayor Greg Ballard has called the Jan. 5th event a historic storm, which was made worse by the near record low temperatures that followed. The mayor has said city crews did their best to keep up, but looking through hundreds of calls, we found residents were clearly frustrated.

With another winter storm on the way, Jonaya Brown worries about getting snowed in again.

"I hope this time because there were so many calls the Mayor's Action Center, they won't forget about us," said Brown.

During that big storm last month, Brown and her neighbors made repeated calls to the city asking for their street to be plowed.

"Other streets were clear, but over here it was a mess," she said.

She's far from alone. The log Eyewitness News went through contains more than 2,000 calls, most coming in Wednesday and Thursday when people were returning to work.

When we plotted the calls on a map, we saw they were countywide with clusters near Eagle Creek, Emerson and 42nd, North Post and 30th and the Fountain Square and Garfield Park areas.

An analysis shows most of the calls came from people simply wanting their streets cleared or salted, but several had an urgency to them.

For instance: "My wife is 38 weeks pregnant and we're plowed in."

"The resident is part of an urgent care team at a hospital," said another complaint.

"On dialysis and can't get out," another resident said.

"Outside a daycare, parents are slipping and falling with their babies and seniors can't get their medication."

Amy Harwell lives just north of downtown. She called the city on behalf of her neighbors, many of whom are elderly and/or disabled.

"We are seniors living here and taxpayers. Please send help," she told the person taking her call.

Harwell says some of her neigbors rely on home nursing care, but the vans couldn't get down the street.

"You can't get to the grocery. You can't do anything. You're paralyzed," she said.

Marc Lotter, a spokesman for the mayor, said there were lessons learned from the last storm. He said in hindsight, they should have had contractors out on the residential streets before the heavy
snow hit. Afterwards, it was just too difficult to get that equipment through.

Eyewitness News asked for the calls strictly dealing with plows. Also, the MAC was run by volunteers the first three days and as a result not all calls made it into the database.

Take a look at snow complaints to the Mayor's Action Center for Jan. 6-10.