NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A giant, downed tree created a dangerous situation in a Queens neighborhood for days after last week’s storm. Residents felt their calls for help were being ignored.
But CBS2 demanded answers and got action.
Reporter Dave Carlin has more on the cleanup and what still needs to be done.
“I’m thinking that it took way too long,” Woodhaven resident Seema Khan said.
After eight long days of waiting, 88th Street looks like a street again, instead of a forest. On Wednesday, a large tree was finally lifted off a pair of cars.
One car had an Uber driver at the wheel a week ago Tuesday and he just barely escaped with his life.
Neighbor Sal Isabella said he saw him.
“He saw the tree falling. As it was coming down he jumped right out of the car,” Isabella said.
Right next to it is a car owned by a frustrated Sylvia Ortiz. She’s angry her pleas went unanswered for a week, and then was in disbelief to see a section of the tree appear to strike her car once more during the removal.
“They dropped a branch again when they was cutting it off,” Ortiz said.
CBS2 reported on the tree on Tuesday night. Removal crews on the scene told reporter Jessica Layton it was already on their to-do list, but Ortiz said she believes, “You guys made it happen. If it wasn’t for (CBS2) the tree will still be on the car.”
“I’ve been calling 311 and nothing,” Isabella said. “You guys come in, all of a sudden they’re here.”
Neighbors said repeated complaints about the tree to 311 failed to get action.
“Recently one of the limbs fell, so we assumed it was rotten,” Seema Khan said.
“Next time, don’t neglect the tree. When he community is complaining about a tree,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz said her insurance company is fighting her on paying for repairs in what it is saying was an “act of God,” and she said the city said it’s not responsible, either.
The rest of her neighborhood is not back to normal. Even some households that came back after losing power are now reporting low voltage. In addition, some sparking continues to rattle neighbors, along with having to detour around blocked streets and piles of debris.
“We had to turn around and around so many times,” resident Miriam Ararat said.
“The car still over there. We cannot go through,” Juan Ararat added.
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