Friday, September 17, 2010

Historic church's steeple destroyed by storm

From the Daily News:

A 45-foot wooden spire atop historic St. George's Episcopal Church in Queens crashed to the street in Thursday night's storm, denting a bus, showering another with debris but harming no one.

Although officials couldn't say for sure, the Rev. Edwin Chase, the assistant pastor, is sure the cause was a lightning strike.

"I was closing the windows when I heard a loud bang and felt the hairs on my arms stand up," he said.

"I though for a second the bell was going to fall down on me but it stayed put," Chase said.

Chase and six parishioners ran out to Main St. in Flushing to find it covered by "tons of timber that came down."

"I'm so extremely relieved that no people were injured or hurt," he said.

Police blocked off busy Main St. between 38th and 39th Aves. for hours while work crews cleaned up the mess.

A wood and copper cross dating back nearly 200 years was pulled out of the rubble and returned to Chase by a firefighter.

Chase said it was too early to tell how much repairs would cost.

Hey folks, by the volume of e-mails I've received I know you are dying for storm damage coverage. Thanks for all the photos and videos. Still sorting through them all as well as cleaning up my personal mess. But I should have more up by the end of the day. Here's more of Flushing:


Anonymous said...

2.5 BIL of your tax dollars wasted on his pet project!
Over 10 preventable fire fatalities so far because of UCT911

-Anonymous NYC fireman

Queens Crapper said...

Sept. 6th News article...

New 911 Dispatch System Can’t Stand Up to High Volume

The Bloomberg administration’s streamlining of 911 dispatch operations has hit another roadblock.

Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez reported Sept. 1 that a computer program provided by a Verizon subcontractor failed quality-assurance testing, which could lead to a termination of its $195-million contract.

‘Breaks Down If Saturated’

“When the new software gets saturated with calls for [the Emergency Medical Service] and police, it can’t handle the load and the system starts dropping calls,” and in a “big public would just break down.”

The $2-billion project is meant to shave seconds off emergency response times, and it includes the Unified Call Taker system, which Fire Department unions have condemned, saying that it resulted in units being sent to wrong addresses.

Patrick J. Bahnken, who as president of Local 2507 of District Council 37 represents Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics, was doubtful that the overhaul was necessary, saying the “old system worked fine.” He then asked, “Was it possible to enhance the existing system?”

Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Carole Post said in a statement, “We have not made a decision. However, we are extremely dissatisfied that Verizon has failed to deliver on this contract. There is no room for anything less than a 100-percent success rate with this program. Verizon has presented us with some options; we are evaluating them.”

To date, Verizon has been paid $21 million.

georgetheatheist said...

"That's major damage, man . . . er ladies and gentlemen."

Anonymous said...

I stood on 71st / Continental Ave. yesterday for 30 minutes, trying to help several other very decent people get a guy out from under a tree, and then I directed traffic, all because no one could get through to 911.

Anonymous said...

I stood on 71st / Continental Ave. yesterday for 30 minutes, trying to help several other very decent people get a guy out from under a tree, and then I directed traffic, all because no one could get through to 911.

Anonymous said...

It is an plain outrage that as a result of a storm that struck only PARTS of New York City can bring down the 911 dispatch system. What's going to happen if a man-made disaster or a terroristic attack happens in NYC ? When are the voters, the lazy City Council, or the Public Advocate (you have a day job to do) hold the Mayor and his Deputy Mayor accountable for all the reckless and draconian budget cuts and techno-glitchy ''changes'' to essential and emergency city services ? Bloomberg and Goldsmith are playing with people's lives, look at yesterday as evidence. If you can't get through to 911, who do we have to turn to for help in cases of emergencies, accidents, or disasters ? Who ?

Detective McNutty said...

I heard the mayor on 1010 wins tell the reporter that unless it is an absolute emergency "do not call 911". I am paraphrasing but he also said the city will eventually clean it up or people can do it themselves. Bloomberg was also on television proclaiming that the damage was not as bad as the news reports. Unfortunately people will believe him.

Anonymous said...

FYI, two photos of the damage to St. George's Episcopal Church on Main Street in Flushing that I came across on Flickr:

Suzannah B. Troy artist said...

Thanks and gratitude to Queens Crap and the NYC Fireman!!!!!!!!!!!!

Suzannah B. Troy

Anonymous said...

Loss of cell phone service was eerily reminiscent of Sept. 11.

Don't forget that at least for the time being we still have "ERS" Fire Boxes. They are conected via dedicated lines to Queens FDNY dispatch and work even if the power grid fails and cell phone service is overwhelmed. There are boxes about every 3 blocks along Continental Ave.

Bloomy wants to get rid of the boxes to save $2 million a year. Then we will have no way to report emergencies when the next big one hits.

Anonymous said...

That wasn't lightning that destoroyed the roof of the Episcopalian church on Main Street.

Italian and Irish roman catholics snuck in unnoticed during the tornado and smashed the roof of the Anglican church to pieces.

Anonymous said...

What are Michael Lee (and the elusive Wellington Chen) really thinking right now?

"Quick...let's make St. George's Church an offer...tear down the rest and expand "Flushing Commons"????

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says..

Suzannah Troy is correct. You can still find the pull boxes on street corners. One way to locate them easily at night, they have a red light above them; usually attached to a street lamp.