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Residents Upset After Storm Topples Thousands Of Trees

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152nd Street between Melbourne and Jewel Avenues in Kew Gardens Hills, Sept. 20, 2010. (Photo/Terry Sheridan)

152nd Street between Melbourne and Jewel Avenues in Kew Gardens Hills, Sept. 20, 2010. (Photo/Terry Sheridan)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) – In Brooklyn and Queens, including hard-hit Forest Hills, residents survey the aftermath of Thursday’s storm and come to grips with the changed landscape. After two tornados and a macroburst, thousands of trees were brought down.

A local tree service company finally got around to cutting down and picking up a large tree sprawled out in Toni Gordon’s front yard. She said she wasn’t waiting around for her insurance company to process a claim. “In my yard, it’s going to be simple. It’s just a matter of money to pay to have it taken care of,” the Queens resident said.

“A lot these great trees have been here for 80, 100 years, and you know, it’s changed the character of this neighborhood forever,” said resident Jason Steinberg.

At least three cars were still buried underneath trees Monday on 152nd Street between Melbourne and Jewel Avenues — the road was blocked and even walking was difficult.

“We’re not frustrated, you know, this is what it is,” one resident told 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan. “You can’t fight against Mother Nature, let her do what she’s gotta do and then we’ll deal with it as best as we can.”

LISTEN: 1010 WINS Reporter Terry Sheridan talks with Queens residents about the clean-up

If there was a silver lining, it was the amount of business that a new work week brought to local tree service companies. “Very busy. Making money off it. But still, you got good customers, you got to give them a break too. So it’s not like you could charge what you usually charge,” said Paul Giovanniello, tree service company owner.

On the streets, City crews weren’t getting a break either. So they’ve called in reinforcements to tackle Queens’ hardest-hit neighborhoods.

Parks Department officials estimated the storm brought down about 3,000 trees. It was a lot for one department to handle, so several crews from Westchester and Suffolk Counties were to help all week cleaning up Mother Nature’s mess.

“I didn’t expect guys to come around this quickly,” said Chuck gladwin of Queens.

“I didn’t think there’d be anything we could do to help New York City, but it looks like we might have had the expertise for this, and they’re just inundated,” said Department of Public Works Commissioner Joseph Nicoletti.

Con Ed officials said the utility has now restored power to all of the 45,000 customers affected by the storm.

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