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Parents, Dog Owners First to Hit Ft. Greene Streets After Hurricane Sandy

By Janet Upadhye | October 30, 2012 3:31pm

FORT GREENE — While Hurricane Sandy toppled trees along many streets in Fort Greene, parents with stir-crazy children and dog owners with hydrant-seeking pooches were some of the first to venture out into the neighborhood Tuesday morning.

Trees fell in Fort Greene Park, where most of the area was closed off with caution tape, and along Waverly Avenue, South Elliot Place, Vanderbilt Avenue and Washington Park, where blocks were taped off.

At least two trees fell onto cars in the neighborhood, with branches littering streets throughout the area. 

However, neighbors found that Fort Greene fared relatively well during the storm — allowing families and pet owners to take to the streets despite the lingering conditions.

With children "bouncing off the walls," as one local mother put it, and dogs needing to relieve themselves, there was no choice but to pull on rain boots and coats and head outside, residents said.

"We listened to the radio, and it said to take precautions," said Mrs. Mitchell, who lives in Fort Greene. "So I put my son in a helmet."

She added that she also wanted her husband to wear a helmet, but he was too vain.

Greenlight Bookstore on Fulton Street was one of the few businesses open in Fort Greene Tuesday morning. Co-owner Rebecca Fitting said that people needed a place to go after being cooped up, and she wanted to provide that.

"The first people in the store this morning had young children," she said.

Co-owner Jessica Stockton Bagnulo agreed.

"Look outside," she said. "You only see people with small children or big dogs."

But runners — like Stephanie Ault, who lives in Clinton Hill and went running in Fort Greene Park — were also out in earnest Tuesday morning.

"I felt like I needed to get out,” she said.

She added that she also wanted to assess the neighborhood and see the damage.

"I needed to move and not feel stagnant."