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NYC Still Picking Up The Pieces After Violent Weather

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Tornado damage in Queens (credit: CBS 2)

Tornado damage in Queens (credit: CBS 2)

hazelsanchez Hazel Sanchez
Hazel Sanchez joined CBS 2 in 2000 as a general assignment...
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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – The great cleanup is extending into the weekend in parts of New York City after a double dose of Mother Nature’s fury on Thursday.

The effects are still being felt after a line of massive storms spawned two tornadoes and winds of more than 100 miles per hour. The path of destruction stretches from cemeteries to neighborhoods.

Governor David Paterson has asked for help from FEMA, while several thousand customers remain in the dark after massive power outages, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Cleanup crews were everywhere in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Saturday, picking up the pieces left behind by Thursday’s powerful storms.

“It’s insane. You don’t expect tornadoes in Brooklyn,” one resident said.

On Atlantic Avenue, crews were breaking down branches from a huge tree that had fallen into the backyard of Perfect Renovation Design Construction. Christine Raftery was working inside when the wild weather plowed through.

“It was like a monsoon hit us,” Raftery said. “The door kept on opening and closing. Then we just heard this big bang.”

That big bang was a massive tree that, as it toppled, managed to pull down power, telephone and cable lines.

Electricity is back in the area, but cable and phone service won’t be restored for as long as two weeks. Raftery said the outages will be a huge issue, as most of the company’s billing is done online.

“It will tremendously affect the income of the business,” she said. “Years back, I remember when there was no internet and we got along fine. But today, we’re the internet world – we rely on it so much. Without the use of it, we’re powerless.”

While the storm has caused huge losses for many, it’s also been a major gain for others – and especially for those tasked with removing the downed trees.

“It’s crazy, it’s crazy, it’s just non-stop,” Carl Cahill, of Evergreen Tree Experts, said.

Crews from Cahill’s company have been working around-the-clock, cutting down trees that were blown over by the storm.

“Especially with the economy the way it’s been the last couple of years, it’s definitely a boost for business,” Cahill said.

Cahill said he has more than 150 clients on his waiting list, and that his phone continues to ring off the hook.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I’ve been 30 years in this business, and I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”

While Cahill and his crews are enjoying the business boom courtesy of the violent weather, residents who are trying to rebuild hope they never see anything like it again.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney reports.

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