Thursday, September 16, 2010

NYC Tornado, Sept. 16, 2010

Flatbush Avenue: This tree was in front of Haifa Bodega blocking three lanes of traffic. I was on the subway during the tornado so I didn't even know that a storm hit. A guy who had been in Haifa during the worst of it came out and told me that the sky turned black, there was lightning and strong gusts of wind and that it was one of the scariest situations he'd been in. (A week or so ago a branch of this tree broke off and was hanging by a thread from the trunk. For some reason the city never cleaned it up. So when I saw that the whole tree was destroyed and blocking three lanes of traffic on Flatbush, my initial thought was that the broken branch somehow dragged the rest of the tree down. Now the city's really got a mess on its hands!)
Prospect Heights, Vanderbilt Avenue:
This was a typical scene. People everywhere talking about what happened or cleaning up what they could in the aftermath. Other people taking pictures of people taking pictures of people taking pictures of fallen branches.This is weird. Park Slope, 5th Avenue:

The beautiful tree near the Stone House was another casualty. This tree was so old that I imagine it could have been around during the Revolution. You can't tell from the picture, but it was massive.
Seth was so disturbed by the whole situation he grew a Michael Douglas hairdo. What the...?

I can't remember what street this was on. I think 4th. I read that many of the trees uprooted like this because their roots were trimmed so they wouldn't crack the sidewalk.
Here's another view of the same tree. Those are firetruck lights in the background. Soon after I took this, the firefighters drove the truck right up to this tree to survey the damage. One firefighter seemed like he really, really wanted to rev up the chainsaw, but I think they decided that this was too big of a job to tackle with just one saw so late in the evening.
5th street between 5th and 6th Avenues was hit hard. The 5th Avenue side of the block was blocked by a huge old shade tree that all the neighbors loved......the 6th Avenue side was blocked by this. Most cars that I saw while we walked around seemed intact. For example, a branch fell on top of someone's car in front of our apartment building and the car owner just got in and drove away. It didn't even look like it was scratched. But then there was this:
While I was taking pictures of this car I talked to a woman who said that water and dust flooded into her apartment when the storm hit, her kids were screaming and scared, the sky was green. I overheard another woman on this block tell a police officer that a tree busted out all the windows in her apartment. What a mess. Read more here and see a video here shot by a person who was pretty...gutsy(?) to stand in front of all those windows filming during a storm like this.

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