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Fallen Trees Block Roads, Some Residents Without Power in Western Queens

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | October 30, 2012 2:48pm

QUEENS — On Tuesday morning, residents of Hunters Point woke up to see a rainbow above Gantry Park, a striking contrast with the night before when water submerged the riverside park along with many streets in the area.

“There has been a lot of damage in the neighborhood,” said Sheila Lewandowski, a local resident and activist. “In some places the water passed 11th Street, and Borden Avenue is devastated. It was flowing from over Newtown Creek into the (Queens Midtown) tunnel.”

On Tuesday morning, there was debris in the streets, including fallen branches, street lights that dangled dangerously overhead, and crashed fences, said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer who toured the area to assess the damage.

Many of the linden trees at Andrews Grove Playground on 49th Avenue in Hunters Point had been knocked over; some trees in the area smashed onto cars, others fell onto streets, blocking traffic.

“There is very significant damage in the form of fallen trees,” said Van Bramer.

Van Bramer also said that some businesses and residential buildings in the area had been flooded.

Water gushed into the lobby of the CityLights building, which is located near the East River and may have flooded P.S. 78, which is located in the same building.

Some residents in the area are also without power, elected officials said.

Astoria’s waterfront, even though it was not part of a mandatory evacuation zone, also suffered from flooding Monday night, but most of the water had receded by Tuesday morning.

“The entire area down by the East River was under water,” said Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. “It came up to the houses on Shore Boulevard.”

Vallone said a  power plant in the neighborhood had been knocked offline during the storm and that there was also a downed power line on Ditmars Boulevard and 27th Street.

Two houses on 81st Street had to be evacuated because of a fallen tree, he said.