Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tornado 2010

On Sept. 16, 2010 the area of Queens were I live was hit by a tornado. The sky had been rapidly darkening and there was a smell in the air that I recall from huricane Gloria -which hit many years ago. I made it home from work and began closing open windows as the rain fell and the wind began to whip everything into a white out. As quick as it hit, it was gone and it left a seen that looked as if an enormous blender had chewed everything up and spit it all out onto our street below. Mainly old trees were felled or lost their primary branches . Some were simply decapitated. These photos were taken 2 days later and many of the local streets remain blocked by fallen trees. Today many who lost electrical power had their service restored.
The area I live in is called "Forest Hills" & it's trees are a large part of what make it an amazing place to be. With so many of those trees damaged or completelty gone , it feels as if the landscape has been altered in a permanent way and scars have been left . One thing I will always remember-the smells. As I walked down each block I noticed the smell of trees damaged-pine, oak, maple, magnolia. If you garden and work with wood, you know the scents I am talking about. These smells were soon joined by one other-the smell of burning wood as saws sprang to action, breaking down mammoth sized trunks into transportable pieces.
One of the saddest sights was the trees, still standing, that sustained terrible tears when branches were ripped from their trunks. These tears invite disease and I have to wonder if, rather than fight to save these trees, owners and the city of New York won't take the easy way out and simple cut these trees down too. An added loss.

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