Oct. 29, 2012 By Bill Parry
Firefighter Peter Georganes of Ladder 163 (Woodside) warned on Sunday that Hurricane Sandy might bring down several trees—which is this neighborhood’s biggest threat.
Even before the arrival of the brunt of the storm many trees had come down.
Before sunset, several trees had already been knocked down in the area—including one in front of Mario’s Restaurant at 43rd St. and 47th Ave., and one at 51st St.and Skillman Ave.
The tree at 51st Street was taken care of quickly. “The fire department was here within two minutes and took care of it,” said a nearby worker.
Another tree fell onto the awning of Skillman’s Famous Pizza at Skillman and 47th St. without causing serious damage. Phillip Huq watched from his apartment across the street as the tree just missed his Honda Civic. “It’s a miracle,” he said, “I was afraid my car was totaled; maybe I should go buy a lotto ticket.”
If Huq had wanted to get his Lotto ticket at Orchard Farmers Market, it might have taken awhile. All of the store’s workers were busy wrestling with the mangled protective shades hanging from the awning outside.
The Mayor’s Office ordered all government offices closed as of 2pm, including the district office of councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
Van Bramer and his staff have toured the district looking for damage.
“We’ve seen trees down in several areas,” Van Bramer said. “We’re watching all of it and relaying information in real time to make sure they’re removed as fast as possible.”