Once Hurricane Sandy left the city, Flatbush Shomrim founder Chaim Deutsch and his team began cutting up and carting off more than 75 uprooted trees blocking roads and preventing first responders and supply trucks from getting around Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, and Brighton Beach — until the city shut them down.
“We had a little problem with the Parks Department,” said Deutsch, who claimed that a Parks Department official told him to leave all the fallen trees left on city streets alone. “He said we’re not supposed to be doing that, but I said in a crisis, I’ll do whatever I have to.”
City officials told Deutsch that if the fallen tree wasn’t causing an emergency, its date with a mulch pile will have to wait two weeks — something a man with a gassed-up chainsaw at the ready can’t fathom.
… “Non-certified foresters who do not have permission from Parks should not go out with chainsaws and remove trees,” said Parks Department spokeswoman Megan Lalor. “It’s dangerous.”
According to Deutsch, who also works for Councilman Mike Nelson, Flatbush Shomrim disposed of 75 trees before the Parks Department shut them down. And in an emergency, he said, he’d do it all again.
Jessie Streich-Kest and Jacob Vogelman were killed while walking their dog during last night’s storm. A tree fell and pinned the two, who were not discovered until early this morning.
Jessie Streich-Kest grew up in Ditmas Park and attended Murrow High School. She has friends and family throughout the immediate neighborhood who are grief stricken.
“Jessie was first a student and then a friend of mine,” wrote neighbor Matt MacLean. “I can’t believe that she’s not here anymore. Her passion for animal welfare, political activism, and her new career as a high school teacher were so amazing. We talked not long ago about getting together for another coffee or drink. She could plow through all sorts of obstacles and her fortitude was a sight to behold. My heart goes out to her family. It just doesn’t seem real.”
… Jacob Vogelmanwas “a nice guy, very kind and always smiling” remembered Dominique Manzione, a friend of his from high school. Jacob grew up nearby and had attended Goldstein High School near Manhattan Beach. For college, he attended SUNY Buffalo.
After hours of listening to the police scanner, it’s clear – the biggest problem this storm is causing so far is trees falling on power lines. Our readers have filled our inbox with photos of fallen trees, and more come in every minute. The worst of Hurricane Sandy is still to come, and more trees are bound to fall. Please remember to stay indoors and away from any trees, and if power lines are knocked down do not go anywhere near them. Report downed trees to 311 and downed power lines to 911.
Just minutes after New York City was placed under tornado warning on Saturday morning, the area got a bit of Kansas thrown its way. Winds picked up quickly as the storm rolled in off the Atlantic, over the Rockaways, Manhattan Beach, Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay. And with it came a waterspout – essentially a tornado on water – that came ashore, into Gerritsen Beach, and then up towards Flatbush.
Our readers were all over the place, capturing video and photos as the ominous clouds rolled over the Bay and the funnel touched ground.
A tree came tumbling down at around 9:15 a.m. on the eastbound of Shore Parkway, between East 16th Street and Sheepshead Bay Road. Luckily no one was injured, and no cars seemed to be damaged, but some drivers did get a bit of a scare.
Our tipster, Gene, had this to say:
I was standing in the long line on shore, waiting for cars to move, as soon as the light changed at the intersection of shore and sheepshead bay rd we started moving, I moved 2 feet or so and this tree came down blocking entire street.
At approximately 35 feet, the tree came down from the Belt Parkway embankment, destroying a section of the fencing and just missing two parked cars. One of the car owners was on the scene clearing off his vehicle, elated that it survived without a scratch.
Yellow caution tape has gone up on East 16th Street, detouring people around a small greenspace. But drivers beware: Shore Parkway, with its many blind curves, still invites speeding. We watched several accidents nearly happen, as speeders slammed on the brakes as they came around the curve and found the caution tape. Drive carefully!
These scene, at East 23rd between Avenue W and Avenue V, is repeated on many local streets. Four days after the weekend storm toppled scores of trees in our area, many roads remain blocked. What streets do you know of that remain blocked?
As we all know by now, damage was widespread. For the most part, downed trees took out power lines, blocked off roads, crushed cars and shattered concrete like egg shells. In some areas trees fell into houses. Aluminum siding and roofing was stripped from some homes, as were signs from businesses. Boats slammed into the Ocean Avenue footbridge, splintering wooden guardrails.
In the worst damage I’ve seen from the storm yet, a stalled construction on MacKenzie Street in Manhattan Beach collapsed onto a neighbor’s home, knocking it off its foundation and causing the family to lose nearly everything (more on that later).
Ironically, Plumb Beach didn’t seem too badly damaged (more on that later, too).
These 111 photos come from Sheepshead Bites’ great readers, who went about chronicling the damage and sent us their photos. It’s only a selection of what we received. To see more photos – many with captions from the photographer – connect with us on Facebook and browse the photos tagged “Sheepshead Bites.”