Tornado Victims Seek Help

By Andrew Siff
|  Tuesday, Sep 21, 2010  |  Updated 11:50 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Tornado Victims Seek Help

Getty Images

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 17: A street sign sits atop downed trees and other debris following a late afternoon storm yesterday which is being described as a possible tornado September 17, 2010 in the Park Slope neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. At least one fatality was attributed to the severe storm which brought high winds and rain to parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Photos and Videos

Tornado Victims Seek Help

Tornado victims in Queens and Brooklyn say they've asked for help with all the damage done, but there seems to be no fix in sight.
More Photos and Videos

Forest Hills has lost its forest.

Tons of trees remain scattered around Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island five days after an unexpected tornado.

"We wanna know when the city's gonna show up in our area," said Robyn Ulzheimer of Kew Gardens.

She was one of dozens of Queens residents who got to ask questions at a town hall organized by Congressman Anthony Weiner.

"The proof is in the pudding," said Weiner, who praised the city's response and said his own house lost cable on Thursday and had it back up and running on Sunday. He said the response does not remind him of past calamities in Queens, when the city's response following snowstorms or blackouts was occasionally sluggish.

On Wednesday, a team from FEMA plans to tour the area.

If the tornado did more than $25 million worth of damage, some residents can get some money back-- even if they don't have insurance. But, OEM Commissioner Joe Bruno said, "It's not a slam dunk. There are lots of things FEMA accepts and do not."

But Nataly Rojas, a Queensboro College student from Flushing, said it's unacceptable to still see giant tree limbs on her family's house, five days after the tornado.

"It's frustrating," said Rojas. "Stressful. There's nothing to cook, so I gotta go out, and I gotta go to school and charge my phone."

The city Parks Department, which is responsible for tree removal, said its working as fast as it can.

Commissioner Adrian Benepe said: "Five days ago, New York was hit by one of the worst storms in modern history, which knocked over or damaged ten of thousands of trees on streets. Hundreds of streets were closed by fallen trees. Since that time, many City agencies have been working 12-hours shifts, aided by contractors and workers from three surrounding counties, to open up closed streets and to remove large trees that have fallen on houses. This natural disaster has left behind a huge amount of work to be done, including removing thousands of tons of tree trunks and debris that have been cut to open the streets. The full clean-up is expected to take weeks, as will the restoration of hundreds of sidewalks destroyed or damaged by falling trees. We will get to the priority work--opening streets for emergency access, getting trees off houses, and helping to restore power-- as fast as possible, and we hope residents will be patient as we address emergency priorities."

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
21st Century Solutions
The NBCUniversal Foundation is partnering... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out