Tornado in Brooklyn

mrobbins(6b - Brooklyn)September 20, 2010

Did any of you hear that two small tornadoes hit us in Brooklyn last Friday, Sept. 17? A lot of trees went down in my neighborhood, but fortunately my building and the trees right around me were spared.

This weekend was dedicated to cleaning up, and I am proud of all my neighbors for doing such a thorough job of making our streets tidy and safe again. It seemed like every tree service in the city was out in force, chainsawing felled or fatally damaged trees, and chipper machines were grinding away all day long.

I'm going to do a search online about the quality of firewood coming from city street trees -- probably our trees aren't that good for firewood, but I would like to have a tribute to them when the weather gets cold by fueling my outdoor firepit with a few logs from our recently destroyed trees. I imagine seeing their smoke go up between bare branches of the surviving trees, whispering to them how much we honored their spirit and loveliness, and as the smoke fades into a November sky I will thank the old trees and the new ones for all they did and will do to connect us to nature in such a paved over environment.

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Yes Mary, I saw the news of a couple of tornadoes hitting Brooklyn, that's such an amazing thing. I am glad that your building came through safely, love your thought of honoring the destroyed trees by warming people, firewood is a very honorable end to the life of trees.
How is your recovery from the surgery? So good to hear from you.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 12:43AM
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I followed it too on the news and the on-line papers. It just don't sound right, tornado in NYC. It's a crazy weather pattern this year. You have a great idea honoring the trees. They have a hard live in an urban inviroment.
How is your shoulder doing? Hope you are on the mend.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 7:19AM
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Yes,a very close friend of mine lives here but also has a brownstone in Park Slope. She sent me a video which shows some of that awful storm.Glad you didn't get a direct hit.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 10:30AM
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Yes, I heard the words Tornado and Brooklyn and it took a while to figure out what happened. I'm glad you are ok and did not take a direct hit.
Nice thought about collecting some of the wood and use it in your fire pit. The felled wood is green so I'd say collect it and let it dry for a period of time before using it.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 7:40PM
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mrobbins(6b - Brooklyn)

I appreciate your concern and shared relief that my garden was spared! I'm glad to say that a friend's fabulous rooftop garden also escaped. I think, given that he's much more of a gardener than I am, I would have been more upset at the destruction of his garden than mine.

We had a tornado in Brooklyn in the Bay Ridge and Sunset Park neighborhoods (south of where the recent one hit) in 2007. I really, really hope these two incidents are a strange repeat of once-in-a-lifetime events. Although with global warming, weather instability is a big part of the picture. This makes me feel like starting up my compost routine again, although diverting my trash from the NYC landfill is hardly a fix for a global problem. Some little thing I can do to feel I'm playing my part, I guess. Other than that, I can pray. Or move. I almost left the city earlier this year, when I nearly got a job upstate.

The cleanup continues in my neighborhood. Street trees are all trimmed of major branches, so now it's time to tend to the trees in the backyards. It's common to see a line of workmen marching out of tiny little townhouses carrying the cut remains of a 18 - 24" diameter tree. Then they bring the pieces to the street and proceed with chainsawing there, in front of the truck where their mulcher is roaring away. All parts of the tree go into the mulcher -- brown wood and green branches. Nobody has the luxury of time to make firewood.

I'd still like to go ahead with my firepit tribute, though. I can't carry firewood at this point (two weeks post-surgery, I'm healing but have a ways to go), but maybe I can get some neighbors to help. We have space at the back of the building, where the deck overhangs, where we could leave the wood to season before burning it.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 3:13AM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

We had three small tornados in our town last week - just confirmed as an F1 catagory, which is winds 85 -100 mph. A group of us had goon to dinner and all we got was some rain, thunder and lightening. At the time I was walking a block to my car, less than 1/2 of amile away the little tornado was taking out trees and blowing off rooftops. Made me realize how narrow the path of destruction can be. The town's warning system did not go off until after the event. Glad you were spared, Mary.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 7:20AM
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Bay Ridge sure rings a bell. I spent some time there in the 50ties, in "Little Norway". I had never heard of a tornado back then, and if one would have happened, I would have been on a boat back home to Scandinavia.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 5:15PM
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