Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rego Park/Forest Hills tornado damage

From CBS 2:

Four days after devastating storms ripped through the area, streets in Queens were still a mess.

Fallen trees — including Oaks and Sycamores — were still blocking some streets and crews were removing large tree branches from the roofs of several homes Monday evening.

68th Road in Forest Hills is the picture of disaster — cars smashed and debris still to be cleaned up and where tree limbs were being lifted off of one home.

“It’s devastating. It’s like a bomb was dropped,” resident Warren Wankoff said.

With four days passing since the storm hit and power lines down all over the place, storm victim Lorraine Gister has had enough.

“Mayor Bloomberg, when are you going to help us? We’re part of this city even though we’ve been forgotten,” Gister told CBS 2′s John Slattery.

Gister wanted to know when the debris will be cleared, and when her phone service will come back.

“I have two sick people in the family. I have no phone since Thursday,” Gister said.

Mayor Bloomberg said he understood the frustration and assured residents that city crews were working hard to ensure the cleanup is finished soon.

From CBS 2:

As FEMA began assessing whether the city’s storm damage qualifies for aid, Congressman Anthony Weiner cautioned residents who were expecting too much from the federal government at a Tuesday night town hall in Forest Hills.

“I want New Yorkers to understand, these are not like pennies from heaven. No one’s going to knock on your door with a bag full of twenties for your trouble,” Weiner said.

CBS 2′s John Slattery asked the mayor on Tuesday if he was considering another first-hand look at the tornado damage.

“I was out there before you even knew there was a storm, looking at trees and talking to people,” Bloomberg said, “I have not considered going out again.”

Bloomberg said the his presence and the media coverage in neighborhoods with major problems could be detrimental to the cleanup and advised that it would be better to stay out of the way and let professionals do their jobs.

Still, storm victims continued to be frustrated by what they perceived as little help from authorities.

“It’s a debris field and the city has done absolutely nothing,” one man said.


Anonymous said...

Alright, enough with the sissy music. humanity thrived before telephones and electricity. Shit, New Yorkers used to laugh this sort of storm off. now we need group therapy and government handouts? anyone complaining about an act of god should check ebay for a spine... when they get their electricty and cable back. boohoo :*(

Queens Crapper said...

The City could not handle an inch of rain in 2007. Here we had a disaster that in most communities only required tree cleanup, and the City was unprepared again. There is no excuse for this.

Anonymous said...

It was good of Rep. Anthony Weiner to show up at the scene to reassure Warren Wankoff that government is there for him.

Anonymous said...

Really, Crappy? You think the city isn't doing a good job? I live in Auburndale, in one of the worst hit areas. I think the city is doing a fantastic job for the amount of damage that's been done. For all the thousands of trees that have been knocked down, the majority of major streets are open, with the exception of one block of Utopia Parkway, as are most sidestreets now. Did you expect a chipper on every block minutes after the storm was over?

Anonymous said...

There is too little attention about this disaster in particular utilities such as Verizon and cable companies are moving too slowly.

Queens is being shorted as usual by Mayor Perfect and he who is almighty and hates Queens unless his friends are bull-dozing it.

Anonymous said...

I expected that within 2 days, all streets would be open. You don't need a woodchipper to clear the streets. You need chainsaws and round the clock personnel to operate them. The utilities could not do their jobs until the trees were removed.

Anonymous said...

The governor could have called the national guard in.

Amy said...

No one expected this to be cleared over night. Just a walk around Auburndale made that obvious. But the city could have treated this like a snowstorm. They could have suspended regular sanitation pick-up and had all sanitation workers report in to clear the many streets of debris and branches and trees. So maybe, some of those unlucky car owners could get their cars towed away. So maybe, days later, more streets would be fully cleared. As a homeowner I am more than willing to clean up around my property and not wait for someone else to come in and do it when we have storms. Most of this cleanup is beyond what a homeowner can or should have to do. The city wasn't prepared and shame on them for that.

Anonymous said...

I do. not. get. why any of you think the city should be prepared for a tornado. How does one prepare for a tornado, particularly when this isn't Tornado Alley, and when there is no warning that a tornado is about to blow through NYC? Should the Parks Dept. have been standing wait when the weather warning was issued, standing on every corner with chainsaws "just in case?"

The national guard? For what? Curfews and marital law? Do they have a chainsaw brigade?

You people are unbelievable, including you, Craps. Since you're all all-knowing about the city being prepared for this, how should they have been "prepared?" Do you think towns in Kansas are cleaned up within 48 hours of a tornado? Idiots. The lot of you.

Anonymous said...

Towns in Kansas get flattened. They don't get paralyzed by trees blocking the roads.

All firehouses have chainsaws. They test them daily. They could have been put to good use.

Anonymous said...

Stop being apologists and sycophants (look it up) for our lousy, broken government. Should the city have been prepared for a tornado? No. Should they be prepared for a disaster? Yes. We have ZERO chance in the event of a major terrorist attack.

I live in Forest Hills and thankfully had no direct damage to my person or property. However, there were two HUGE tree limbs hanging precariously from overhead wires in front of my house. On Saturday, I called 311. The operator said “Could they fall and hurt someone?” I said “Absolutely…” She said I needed to talk to 911 and transferred me. 911 said someone would be there soon.

An hour later, two police officers showed up and looked at the branches. They told me the branches could be hanging from live wires and I should call Con Ed. Then they left.

I called Con Ed – Con Ed comes an hour later, they tell me it’s not their wires, it’s Time Warner’s. I call Time Warner, who comes the next day. The guy tells me it’s not their wire, it’s Verizon’s and I need to call Verizon.

And mean, really – do I have ALL DAY make phone calls because the cops were too lazy to do their job? THEY should’ve called the fire department and closed off the street if they truly thought it was live wire!!!! Instead, they just PASS THE BUCK!

The tree limbs stayed there for four days before the fire department finally came and took them down. It's a miracle the branches didn't fall and kill someone.

And to make matters worse, on Saturday night, Weiner is grinning and waving to his fans in front of Dirty Pierre’s at the FH LIRR station. YOU WORK FOR US, WEINER. ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES AND MOVE SOME TREES!!!!

And the most frustrating thing? All community seems to care about is cleaning up MacDonald Park. Screwed up priorities, in my view – there are streets blocked, houses inhabitable and elderly people who have no access to their only lifeline, a telephone, AND YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT A PARK!!!!!

Amy said...

Anonymous, we pay enough taxes to expect that the city and state would be prepared for emergencies -whether it is a terrorist attack, a snowstorm, a hurricane, and yes even a tornado. There should be a "what if" plan for any type of emergency. Are most streets open? Yes. Try driving down some of those open streets. The ones that are littered with downed tree limbs, cut up tree trunks and huge piles of debris in the street. Thats called an accident waiting to happen. Nobody really needed their recyclables picked up in the past 5 days. What they needed was sanitation crews clearing the streets.

Anonymous said...

Amy, what is even worse is that cars in Forest Hills were ticketed for not abiding by the alternate side rules!

I received a ticket on Monday. There was nowhere to put my car, I'm on a one-way street, and the end of the block was impassable. I would've had to back out of my block (and probably would've got a ticket for that too). I never dreamed I'd get a ticket. I'm thinking of fighting it.

Why is there street cleaning in the middle of a disaster zone?!?!

Anonymous said...

To the fourth poster, you mentioned Auburndale, which despite being one of the worst-hit areas was cleaned up quickly. That's Dan Halloran's council district, and his office was open until 2:30 in the morning each day to make sure disaster recovery efforts were coordinated.

In Forest Hills, you have the three stooges (Weiner in Congress, Koslowitz at City Council, Hevesi in NYS Assembly) in our district who are more concerned about Macdonald Park than they are about getting streets cleared and services up and running. (Over in Rego Park, the playground and park by PS 174 still is littered with trees.) It's obvious the cleanup was centered on Macdonald Park because of (1) its high visibility on Queens Boulevard and (2) the seniors who year after year, decade after decade vote in these partisan hacks use that park.

We will remember in November...

Amy said...

I too live in Auburndale. I'm not sure where Poster 4 was referring to, because as of last night there was a lot to do in the way of clean up.

Anonymous said...

The plain answer to this is the Mayor fired many of the workers who do this work.

He has used the money saved to hire 750 new traffic enforcement agents.

Queens Crapper said...

"I received a ticket on Monday. There was nowhere to put my car..."

Please write to me privately. I'll take care of it.

Anonymous said...

"and the City was unprepared again. There is no excuse for this."

There IS an excuse for this!