Prospect Heights Recovers from Hurricane Sandy

By Mathew Katz on October 30, 2012 2:47pm 

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Prospect Heights residents emerged from the storm on Tuesday expecting the worst, but many saw little of the damage and destruction they watched on television the night before.

Many locals were out and about on Tuesday morning after Hurricane Sandy, braving intermittent rain and winds to walk their dogs or pick up a bagel.

"I expected so much worse," said Sarah Fields, 32, who had picked up breakfast at the Olde Brooklyn Bagel Shoppe on Vanderbilt Avenue.

"We never lost power, so all we could do was watch all the doom and destruction everywhere else."

The restaurant was busy enough that it had already sold out of everything bagels by 9 a.m., though workers anticipated more later in the day.

With its high elevation, the neighborhood largely avoided flooding, and most of the damage came from overturned trees.

In the northern part of the neighborhood, the site of huge water main replacement project at Atlantic and Washington avenues appeared relatively unharmed by the storm.

Prospect Place seemed to get the brunt of the damage — a tree toppled over a motorcycle near Vanderbilt Avenue, and another one, even more massive, crushed two cars near Washington Avenue.

James "Shorty" Davis, the super of a building on the street, spent the morning sweeping up fallen leaves and warning passersby to be careful of breaking branches.

"It's a lot of work," said Davis, 54, who had spent the previous afternoon volunteering in Lower Manhattan.

"People said God did this, but this is the devil's work. God's work is stopping this and helping us clean up."

On Washington Avenue, several stores saw their signs damaged or ripped clean off, including Mayday Hardware and No. 1 Kitchen Chinese Restaurant.

Damage was also light near the Barclays Center, where the storm tore down metal fences and wooden barriers blocking off the construction site at the stadium, though the site itself was unharmed. Across the street, Modell's Sporting Goods on Flatbush Avenue had temporarily become Modell's "Porting" Goods after Sandy ripped the 'S' from the store's sign.

Officials said it was unclear whether Thursday's scheduled game between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks would still be played. The stadium's owners also had not determined whether an Oct. 31 Smashing Pumpkins concert would be rescheduled.

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