By Lou V

Saturday, March 13, 2010, Staten Island NY (pictures below taken Sunday March 14) — The forecast said it was going to rain all day on Saturday, with some heavy winds. By 11am that morning, we started to get minor instantaneous power outages — where the power would flicker off for a second — unusual in Great Kills, Staten Island, where the power never goes off. As the day carried into late afternoon the rain kept coming down — HARD (4 inches on the day we’d learn later) — and the winds started to whip to an earth shuttering frenzy — 50 to 70 mph longstanding blasts that shook the trees — I was driving on Hylan Blvd in a 1991 Mercury Marquis — a tank — and the wind hit my car so hard it felt like I was getting pushed backwards; I’d never felt a wind so heavy in a car before. I drove past a poor fellow on Hylan Blvd in Annadale who’s car had been crushed by a tree while he was driving along. He had gotten out safely.

Six died in Brooklyn on this night; as the late afternoon turned dark and into evening, Staten Island became a war zone. Falling trees everywhere; downed power lines; fires and sparks and that nasty sound of electricity burning — all over — sirens everywhere; the fire department and police were inundated with emergencies seemingly at every corner, and couldn’t possibly keep up. If there was a downed tree and power line in front of your house with live electricity on your sidewalk, you were on your own as long as your house wasn’t on fire.

Fallen tree amongst the arches in New Dorp, Staten Island [Click to enlarge.]

I called in the tree above on Saturday night at around 9pm — a lady asked me to because her cell phone was dead and she was worried her house was going to go on fire. There was live electricity on the street with fire. The 911 operator took my info, phone number, location (three times), and then handed me off to a dispatcher who seemed — overwhelmed — with a thick Brooklyn accent she said “ok, as if your’s is the only fallen tree on Staten Island…”. “Crazy night” I answered. “You can’t even imagine” she answered.

Live wires from downed transformer stayed on the street creating sparks and fire and that transformer/electric sound from Saturday night into .. MONDAY. Con Ed stationed a car there to ward off passer’s by. [Click to enlarge.]

Con Ed guy said the guy in this van got tangled in the live wires and jumped out of the van and ran. [Click to enlarge.]

This evergreen was almost not picture worthy, as it didn’t knock down a powerline, but is pictured here to show how trees were downed in front of you, behind you, to your left, to your right..[Click to enlarge.]

If a tree falls in your backyard, and doesn’t hit a power line, did it actually fall? [Click to enlarge.]

House in Oakwood, Staten Island [Click to enlarge.]

House in Great Kills, Staten Island. [Click to enlarge.]

Gas Station by Nelson Avenue in Great Kills, Staten Island. [Click to enlarge.]

Bache Avenue in Staten Island, looking at Hylan Blvd. [Click to enlarge.]

Hylan Blvd in Princes Bay, Staten Island. [Click to enlarge.]

Hylan Blvd in Oakwood, Staten Island. [Click to enlarge.]

Oakwood, Staten Island. [Click to enlarge.]

Oakwood, Staten Island. [Click to enlarge.]

Great Kills, Staten Island — this is the one that knocked out power in my neighborhood. [Click to enlarge.]

Two trees and a telephone pole tag-team to attack the schoolyard of PS 41 in New Dorp, Staten Island. [Click to enlarge.]

PS 41 schoolyard attacked. [Click to enlarge.]

PS 41 schoolyard. [Click to enlarge.]

PS 41 schoolyard [Click to enlarge.]

PS 41 schoolyard looking out from where the stickball wall used to be. You can see that Jeff’s trees (the ones he used to hit the ball 30 feet over) are still in tact, but the tree where the basketball courts used to be took the hit. [Click to enlarge.]

The block behind the schoolyard on the other side. [Click to enlarge.]

Tree uprooted in Princes Bay. Notice the grass is still in tact, brought up like a rug. [Click to enlarge.]

Another tree that was almost not picture worthy, held up by the phone lines. [Click to enlarge.]

Smashed through a wraught-iron fence. [Click to enlarge.]

Overkill — entrance to Great Kills Park, back end. [Click to enlarge.]

This was just a small snippet of the trees that were downed in the NYC area and Staten Island that weekend. All pictures were taken along Hylan Blvd between New Dorp and Great Kills in Staten Island. Reports had it that many hundreds of trees fell.

All pictures above copyright All taken with a Casio Exilim EX-S10.

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