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Sandy Tears Through Sunnyside Gardens

47th Street, between Skillman and 39th Avenue (Photo: QueensPost)

Oct. 30, 2012 By Christian Murray

Several Sunnyside Gardens streets were closed off to traffic this morning in the wake of Sandy.

Trees were uprooted and limbs strewn across the streets on 47th, 48th and 49th. No homes suffered any damage, although two cars were decimated.

Many residents were out taking photos this morning and were stunned by the amount of damage. Yellow tape closed off the streets between Skillman Ave. and 39th Ave. on 47th, 48th and 49th.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that his office is working on 40 cases throughout the 26th Council district involving downed trees.

However, most of them are in the Sunnyside/Woodside area. He said that many trees in the Wooodside Houses came down as well as a large one by the Big Six Towers on Queens Boulevard.

48th Street (btwn. Skillman and 39th Ave.) Photo: QueensPost

49th Street (btwn. Skillman and 39th Ave.) Photo: QueensPost

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I grew up in Sunnyside and aside from my concerns about peoples safety, were the beautiful trees I grew up with. It makes me sad to see these pictures.


Ruben and Franko, I get why the trees seem dangerous, but it turns out that they are also a really important ‘first line of defense’ in huge storms, and for climate change in general. Mature trees absorb an enormous amount of water, and areas with more trees are hit much less hard with flooding. The best thing you can do is try to stay inside, away from windows & upper stories of houses, during the height of a storm. Some trees will indeed come down, but luckily most people were inside and out of harm’s way. These cars are a loss to their owners, but the trees are a much bigger loss to the city in general – not just because of quality of life, but what they do for the infrastructure.

P & B

Seeing those trees down yesterday was like being at a funeral. Very sad to see so many that fell. Without those trees, we wouldn’t have shade in the summer, protection from light rains, and the sheer beauty when you walk down the street. Those trees really make up the image of sunnyside gardens. Sad when we lose a few.


@ Jacqueline
Your comments has the equivalence of raw untreated sewage. Keep your thorough racism to yourself.
When last did you visit a ghetto?

Franko mcNasty

Avery, with your logic bears should be allowed to run free in cities because obviously they were there first. dumbass. What Ruben is saying is that maybe planting big trees where people can live may not be the best idea. Maybe there should be zoning laws with how big a tree can be next to a house? do you really need a big tall tree just a few feet away from where babies sleep? I think you people need to think before you speak.


The word is ‘trees’ NOT ‘tree’s’. You suffer from inappropriate use of apostrophes. You also suffer from thinking anyone who disagrees with you is a hippie. Hippie gave you the right to pour out you moronic point of view. Trees were here before cities were invented.

EX Sunnysider

JACQUELINE–WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM??? Are you kidding “NO OFFENSE” you could’t have been more offensive if you tried. I have a lot more rage to spew but I won’t give you the satisfaction. A–HOLE!


I don’t think trees in general are a problem, but some trees are. Specifically, immigrant trees – those that are not native to our region, and thus don’t cope well in this climate. How did they get here anyway? Was it legally? Or are they illegal immigrant trees? If they want to stay here, they need to build strong root systems and thick branches, like real American trees. But these weakling illegal immigrant trees are the ones that break, and those are the ones we need to get rid of.


Ruben – “When is this city going to realize that TREE’s are the REAL problem. Tree’s should not be in cities!”

It’s only the trees on the south side that are the problem. 🙂

Considering the massive damage in some areas, Sunnyside made it through pretty well (again). I’m concerned about a few family members who are not answering their phones (nor cell phones). They’re in Suffolk where those evil trees there nearly disabled the entire power grid (600k homes without power).

I hope y’all here and your families/friends are ok!


What is funny is that all Reuben said was that trees don’t belong in cities. I will assume that he wasn’t being serious. Most of the people who commented on his comment scare me with their stupidity and racism. “Go back to Mexico or the ghetto?” Come on folks, your ignorance is showing.

Just be thankful that we were not hit as hard as some.

Girl Power

As much as we all love our trees here, I have a special love for them. I recently found out from family members that my grandfather, Patrick Corrigan of Terminfecken, County Meath, Ireland, won the competitive bid put out by the developers to plant the trees in Sunnyside Gardens. He had six children to support and did it on weekends with the help of his three oldest sons, Michael, Matthew and Patrick. May all of them watch over those of us today who enjoy them and suffer the effects of their loss.

Patricia Dorfman

i was way wrong! just looked at wonderful photographs by local photographer kamila harris on her facebook page and many london planes are bit the dust


Jacqueline. Ya know, it’s absolutely pathetic that you lump the south side of the boulevard with the same distaste as a concrete jungle or a ghetto. It’s really rather short sighted and elitist of you. I love my home on the south side and hope that those affected by the downed trees recover quickly. All Sunnysiders seemed to have fared pretty well in the aftermath of Sandy.

Patricia Dorfman

Courtyard damage: four large trees came down in a row, mid-block behind the sg houses on 47th street between skillman and 39th. took down backyard structures and removed the shade on much of this side of courtyard. startling. two seemed to crack off at half their height, not unearthed.

i am no tree expert, but the trees that came down in the area, on the streets and in the courtyards, to me, do not look like the london plane sycamores which are the mottled trunk surface we associate with sg, but like sugar maples.

Lucky Lou

Amazing, the trees on my street shook the whole night through, but barely a leaf fell from them. And they are skinny little things compared to the ones that fell elsewhere in the neighborhood. Sunnyside should consider itself lucky in the big picture!

Bliss & Skillman

Really? This kind of destruction and hardship hits our area and you guys are spitting this out of your mouths?


Good to see a city crew taking care of the mess this morning. How scary those trees are that line the Garden’s streets.


Ruben, no offence. Please move to a concrete jungle or a ghetto or the other side of the blvd. Ur toxic and insane


I’d love to get a glimpse at Ruben’s ideal world. I don’t want to live there mind you, just look for a few minutes.


Ruben just say things to get people crazy. He’s bored and looking for a good fight.


typical hippie mentality hahahahha, what a pack of hippies. The Trees! someone has to think of the tree’s! Tree’s have their place and its not around a bunch of houses or cars. Whats the biggest killer during storms? Trees. that is a fact

Sane Sunnysider

Ruben, that’s insane! We need MORE trees in cities! They improve air quality, provide shade, and most importantly BEAUTY! Not to mention, THEY were here FIRST!

Matt C

Oof. I feel bad for those car owners. And those trees. Overall, Sunnyside seemed to fair pretty well.


When is this city going to realize that TREE’s are the REAL problem. Tree’s should not be in cities!


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