Yesterday, late afternoon, I got back to the island from Manhattan and was hearing tornado warnings for Staten Island on the radio. It was for a distant part of the island so I wasn’t too worried. Heading across the island to our store in Stapleton, I was suddenly caught is a torrential down pour. With headlights on and the windshield wipers going at their fastest rate, I couldn’t even see the hood of my car. I crept along through the downpour avoiding other headlights and moving to the stoplights glowing in the watery haze. I parked across from the store where we were to have a weekly meeting, the rain stopped and I saw that the power was out in the store. We held our meeting in the twilight as the sun set and adjourned when we were finished about an hour later.
I drove home and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary until I got to Henderson and Clinton, about two blocks from home. Lights were flashing from a fire truck, the crossroad was closed on three of its arms and I had to turn back and find another route to Tysen Street. When I got home, Colman said we have some branches down in the back yard. I was not prepared to see what looked like the demolition of several trees in our back yard. It wasn’t until this morning that I was able to see the extent of the damage. Our neighbors were unscathed, we had a complete carpet of large and heavy debris that was over six feet deep from fence to fence, deck to back fence.
Here’s a ground level view.
It was amazing how complete the coverage was and that the greenhouse and our home and the deck were unharmed. Even the ground on the North side of the greenhouse is completely covered with HEAVY branches from the maple and the linden trees. There was so much on the ground that I was surprised to see anything hanging overhead.
I began to clean up after posting photos on FaceBook and sending photos in email to friends and neighbors. Our neighbor Joe was helping someone else clean up and he showed up with a chainsaw on a post and began to cut some of the larger branches for us. Joe had just pulled down a 25 foot long limb that was dangerously balanced against the tulip poplar when our next door neighbor Mary came to see the mess.
Colman was trying to uncover and recover his orchids that had been in the way of some of the breaking branches.
Joe cutting some pieces deep in the yard. You can see how thickly layered the branches are.
As we cleared nearer the greenhouse I saw that the hardy cyclamen were in full bloom under some Solomon’s Seal.
Henry is a constant companion.
Our friend Diana stopped by to deliver this Passiflora alata blossom. The plant wasn’t blooming while we were there last weekend.
Most of the abutilons on the south side of the greenhouse were okay. I had to dump a lot of water out of their trays. It looked like we had about 6 inches of rain in a bucket that was under the orchid table by the deck.
While Diana was visiting, she told me about some other trees that had fallen in the neighborhood, this one took out a chimney and did some roof damage to a house near Snug Harbor.
Tysen Street, north of Cassidy looked like this, this afternoon.
A little further up on Tysen Street. There is a 20 foot conifer lying down behind the bench too.
On Henderson, I saw that a huge tree had fallen on the St. Peter’s School grounds.
Henderson was still closed off at Clinton towards Lafayette.
Branches littered the streets everywhere, this is on Clinton Street.
After about 6 hours of breaking branches and lifting the logs I could lift, the back yard began to reappear. We will have to have some professionals to come in and take the stuff away.
I wasn’t able to get too the back corner on the left, there are three huge, long limbs that have to be cut to be moved in that area.