Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NYC Sanit. dept. dumped tons of snow on Jewish cemetery

Sanit. dept. dumped tons of snow on Jewish cemetery

Even the dead can't escape the ineptitude of the city's Sanitation Department.

Sanit crews dumped tons of dirty snow from the Chirstmas weekend blizzard into the city’s biggest Jewish cemetery, toppling 21 gravestones and wrecking an iron fence.

"It’s jarring, and it’s an emotional thing," said Yana Zhuravel, a lawyer whose grandparents’ headstones in

Washington Cemetery in Midwood, Brooklyn, were among those knocked over.

"Clearly, nobody came with the intention of doing this, I’m sure," said Zhuravel. "But when an accident happens of this caliber, you expect some form of accountability."

"We were devastated," said cemetery manager Marisa Tarantino.

Workers believe the snow was dumped sometime over the New Year’s holiday, Tarantino said.

The cemtery is closed Saturday. Workers noticed the knocked-over gravestones when the cemetery opened at 8 a.m. Sunday, Tarantino said.

Sanitation officials sent an employee to look into the matter, and the cemetery plans to file a claim with the city.

Some people who heard of the devastation stopped by the cemetery yesterday to check on their relatives’ gravestones.

"Ours is good," said Oscar Daych, 76, whose mother-in-law is buried there. "But this is unbelieveable. It’s terrible. We don’t know what to say."

The snow clearing crews also buried several cars parked next to the cemetery on Bay Parkway.
One man said he had left his car several hundred feet away, and that the city apparently towed it to a spot next to the cemetery, where trucks dumped snow on top of it.

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