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311 Call Center Inundated With Calls

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The Philly 311 Call Center is fielding thousands of calls related to Hurricane Sandy. (Credit: Mike DeNardo)

The Philly 311 Call Center is fielding thousands of calls related to Hurricane Sandy. (Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has shut down city government Monday for all but essential personnel, and he is warning residents to stay off the roads unless you have an emergency.

The city’s 311 Call Center fielded more than 6,200 calls in a 24-hour period by 7:15 Monday morning. People are calling to ask about everything from dialysis transportation, methadone clinics. Many city employees are asking, “Am I essential personnel?”

Supervisor Kimberly Adams says one of the main things people are calling about is to report clogged storm drains.

“It is one of our number one requests — information that we want to get out the most. The city has about 77,000 storm drains that PWG, the water department, services. So, we want to proactively get those unclogged if they are clogged, because that’s going to be one of the main reasons for the flooding.”

There’s hardly anybody on the streets at Broad and Arch Monday morning, but Sheldon Kevin Brown is, he’s selling newspapers on the street corner.

Reporter: “Have you sold any papers this morning?”
Brown: “One.”
Reporter: “You know there’s a hurricane coming?”
Brown: “I know, but I’m out in this hurricane trying to make an honest dollar.”
Reporter: “Do you think it’s worth it for whatever money you might make?”

(Full disclosure: this reporter bought a Daily News, doubling his total.)

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