Pols call for improvement in storm relief

August 17, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Pols call for improvement in storm relief
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Borough President Eric Adams held a conference with elected officials Tuesday near a large tree that was knocked down during Tropical Storm Isaias.

The tree was still blocking the sidewalk at 12th Avenue and 79th Street a week after the storm.

“Isaias is one of the strongest storms that has hit this community,” said Adams. “Storms are going to continue to come and become more destructive unless we do something that’s different.”

More than 260,000 people in New York City and Westchester were left without power because of the storm.

Adams cited “8,100 downed trees [and] 5,000 downed limbs,” saying, “One of those downed trees is behind us … This tree is only representative of the destruction caused by the slow movement of government and small steps taken by the Parks Department and other city agencies affiliated.”

Adams called on Con Edison to provide an up-to-date estimate on how much it would cost to bury overhead power lines. He also suggested overhauling regulations that prevent homeowners from hiring private contractors to prune trees, and investing in real-time tools to track 311 phone complaints related to tree maintenance.

Elected officials claimed that Mayor Bill de Blasio concentrated relief efforts on Manhattan at the expense of other parts of the city.

“The massive power outages and thousands of downed trees around the outer boroughs could have been prevented,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes.

“We are tired of the outer boroughs being the forgotten boroughs,” said Councilmember Justin Brannan.”

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