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Monday, September 27, 2010

Newtown Creek Clean to Come

Great News

Newtown Creek (the water inlet that leads from the East River to separate Brooklyn and Queens) has been dedicated a Federal Super Fund Site.

This is the second SuperFund site designated in Brooklyn after the Gowanus Canal dedication in March of this year.

If you're unfamiliar the waterway has been polluted for over 150 years and continued to be polluted until the 70s. among other things more crude oil has been spilled in Newtown Creek than at the Exxon Valdez site in Alaska.

Details in the NYTimes:

Let the cleanup begin!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

photo Wednesday: Danger overhead

bklyn tornado devastated this park on Washington and Pacific

(above: a view of Park bordered by Atlantic, Washington, Underhill and Dean Street, nearly destroyed Ny last week's Tornado and lightning storm)

As I took these photos of damaged trees at this small park, two men sat on a bench inside the yellow caution taped off area. The photo below shows a large limb that is severed and laying on other branches but essentially unsecured. two men sat
on a bench nearby.

bklyn tornado devastated this park on Washington and Pacific
dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-6
I actually mean to sound like an alarmist when I say I hope no one is killed this week by a tree from last week's storm.

Several large tree limbs are severed or nearly severed and are essentially hang over people's heads. I witnessed and took photos of several trees who's branches seemed far from secure (as of Monday 9/20) and I wonder if anything is being done about the danger posed.

The photo above is from Lafayette and Classon avenues and it shows a large limb dozens of feet above the sidewalk with a frayed twisted connection. Look at the closeup below and ask yourself,"would
I feel comfortable walking under that tree?"

dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-8
(note the twisted bare part of the branch that is the only thing preventing it from falling)

I listened to the local news talk about the clean up of the debris from last weeks storm but throuhout Prospect and Crown Heights, Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant I still see several trees and heavy limbs dangling like Damocles. Every day since last week I become more concerned about the possibility of inadvertent death resulting from inaction.

dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-4
(the hanging branches in this photo are
from a tree on Classon btw Lefferts and Atlantic near the church in the next photo)
dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-5

I was shocked so many trees came down, Brooklyn before four years ago never got a tornado in my life and I expect most people were similarly shocked. So it seems reasonably outside most new yorkers are not thinking that under a clear blue sky like today's a hunk of damaged tree might still fall with enough weight to kill. That reality probably sinks deeper into the backs
of most new yorker's minds with each passing day.

Many of the damaged trees are in parks and near schools, it's unlikely that children are going to have enough awareness to consider falling tree limbs a danger. Most trees I saw had little more than some yellow
"caution" tape to keep people out of harm's way.
dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-2
(The large branch hanging from that tree is in a small park connecting to the middle school on Sterling Pl. between Washington And Classon Avenues)

dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-3
(a wider view of the photo above where a middle school playground is)

So, rather than wait for the city to announce that it has mapped all the precariously hanging trees and that it has a plan to keep passersby away until the damaged trees can be cleared. I'm writing this to urge concerned people to call 311 or local precient or politician and keep further tragedy from happening.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Brooklyn Cyclones

I'm late in mentioning anything about the as yet unconfirmed tornadeos that tore through Park Slope, Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant before heading on into Queens to share the love. (I did tweet prior to the storm at least, hope it helped)

The roofs that were sucked up from their homes in BedStuy is a seriously unbelievable result of the storm that apparently moved at 30 to 50 miles an hour across the area.

I rode the storm out at work hoping I remembered to shut my windows least I find all my belongings exploded out into the Crown Heights streets.
Ididnt find that but I did see on St. Johns a massive amount of tree limbs large enough to have closed the street between Bedford av and Rogers. The tree debris seems to have severally damaged a white car and caused the B45 bus to be rerouted.

Harder to account for are lightning strikes of which I saw many. And in my opinion a tree I took a photo of on Eastern Parkway near the Chase bank on Bedford Ave looks to have a burn mark where a major branch about 24 inches across tore off a tree.

It was a blessing in disguise that the intense rains caused so many to clear the streets prior to the several winds ripping through the streets. That some much damage was cause an so few fatalities resulted (I one confirmed in Queens) is also amazing.

An as I write this an update, the weather service has just confirmed two touchdowns of tornados. One landed in Park Slope as reports indicated yesterday and I then moved northeast through the edge of crown heights and into Bed-Stuy.

Five urban tornados in four years in the fall no less. Can we all start agreeing climate change and global warming is real?