Significant hurricane damage in southwest Brooklyn, officials say

October 30, 2012 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hurricane damage in Brooklyn significant
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Hurricane Sandy showed her wrath in Bay Ridge and other neighborhoods in southwest Brooklyn in a variety of ways, including toppling trees, knocking out electrical power to thousands of residents, and breaching the seawall on Shore Parkway, according to local officials.

Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10, said Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, the two neighborhoods the board covers, had dozens of fallen trees, including trees with branches resting precariously over private homes. “We have a lot of downed trees on the streets between 70th and 82nd Streets. At 654 Bay Ridge Parkway, there is a large tree leaning on a house,” said Beckmann, who spoke to a reporter by telephone shortly after she returned to her office from an inspection tour of the area on Oct. 30.

Thousands of Dyker Heights residents lost electrical power during the hurricane. “The area from 65th Street to 86th Street from Fort Hamilton Parkway to 13th Avenue has no electricity,” Beckmann said.

There is no estimate on when Con Edison will be able to restore electricity, she said.

The Belt Parkway was flooded in the hurricane and remained closed as of Tuesday afternoon.

Capt. Richard DiBlasio, commanding officer of the 68th Police Precinct, which covers the same neighborhoods as Community Board 10, said at least two local streets – 80th Street between Colonial Road and Shore Road and 95th Street between Ridge Boulevard and Third Avenue – were closed to traffic due to fallen trees blocking the roadways.

On 80th Street, the problem was exacerbated by the fact that in addition to a fallen tree, there was also a fallen electrical power line, DiBlasion said. He issued a warning to local residents. “If you see downed electrical wires, do not touch them or move them, even with another object. Treat all downed wires as if they are live,” he said.

“The 68th Precinct is here to help you. But it is important that everyone acts wisely. Please stay away from the shoreline. The 69th Street Pier is now closed. Do not go outside unless it is absolutely necessary. Do not drive unless it is absolutely necessary,’ DiBlsaio said.

State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) kept his district office at 7408 Fifth Ave. open throughout the hurricane. He also made several inspection tours of the district, aides said.

Sandy slammed into the Shore Parkway seawall with such force that it breached the seawall, according to Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11 in Bensonhurst. “It breached the seawall at 17th Avenue. We lost about 200 feet of the seawall,” Elias-Pavia said.

“The ocean is very powerful,” she added.

The Toys R Us store located in the Ceasar’s Bay Shopping Mall on Bay Parkway and Shore Parkway, right off Gravesend Bay, suffered storm damage “to the rear of the building,” Elias-Pavia said.

“We have numerous trees down and sporadic power outages,” she said.

Carlo Scissura, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, said a tree fell during the hurricane and landed on a home he owns on 72nd Street near 16th Avenue. “No one was hurt, thank God,” he said.

Fred Xuereb, chairman of Community Board Seven in Sunset Park, said an electrical substation located on a barge in New York Harbor off 28th Street was flooded in the hurricane. “There was water all the way up to First Avenue,” he said.

Sunset Park also had numerous fallen trees, he said.

Lutheran Medical Center, located at 150 55th St., was fully operational, Xuereb said.

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