The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

A tree falls in Brooklyn

And Queens. And Staten Island. And all over the place.

When I got home late last night, I knew something was wrong when I got to the subway stairs and saw they were choked with leaves. Then I got up to the sidewalk. It looked like a war zone.  Massive trees up and down Queens Boulevard were demolished — not just broken or bent, but utterly uprooted and upended. Cars were crushed. Yellow crime scene tape was blocking off entire blocks. It was dark, but people were wandering around with cameras, taking pictures, shaking their heads in disbelief.  I thought for a moment that maybe we’d been paid a visit by Godzilla.

Well, I later learned, it wasn’t Godzilla; it was a freak storm, probably a tornado. In Queens, of all places. My wife and I fell asleep last night to the wail of ambulance and police sirens, and woke up this morning to the loud pocketa-pocketa-pocketa of TV news helicopters hovering overhead.  I took a walk around the block early this morning, and got a better look. Lamposts were down, and a huge traffic sign from Queens Boulevard was blown three blocks down my street. Several businesses behind my building had windows blown out, and were covered with plywood.  Thank God, only one person so far is reported killed.  But the devastation is, well, devastating.  Massive trees that shaded the streets and avenues for a century are gone.  The neighborhood has been dramatically changed, all in a matter of minutes.   


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posted September 17, 2010 at 8:56 am

Deacon Kandra,
I’ll take a break from my break to wish you and your neighbors all the best in this difficult situation.
My prayers are with the family of the woman killed and the number of people injured.

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Paula Gonzales Rohrbacher

posted September 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I like your Thurberesque “pocketa-pocketa-pocketa”! I’ll keep you and your community in my prayers.

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posted September 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Mother Nature certainly made herself known in your neck of the woods! Here in little ole RI, we just had rain and wind, no damage to speak of. Sympathy for the woman’s family (from PA, not NY if I heard on the news correctly). She had just pulled off to wait out the storm!
Positive thoughts to all during the clean up. What a mess.

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Suzanne Coulter

posted September 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm

The woman killed by the tree crashing onto her car was my next door neighbor here in Pennsylvania. She was a faithful woman whose husband is devastated by this. I ask for prayers for her soul and for her husband who must go forward in life without her.

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