DITMAS PARK – Tropical Storm Isaias hit Brooklyn in early August. It left 22,000 households without power and left 21,000 fallen trees across the city – some 6,000 of them in Brooklyn. A week after the storm, a neighbor noticed a fallen tree in his neighborhood. He called 311 to have it picked up. Nearly two months later, the tree is still there.
The tree is on a sidewalk on Ditmas Avenue between Stratford Road and Coney Island Avenue. On August 11, a week after Isaias, neighbor Ryan Lynch sent a complaint to 311 and NYC Parks. Two months later, it’s still sitting on the sidewalk and he says there have been no updates on the 311 app for his complaint.
“It’s an example of how we let low-hanging fruit problems fester and they turn into other avoidable problems,” he told us. “In this case, we have a tree that goes down, is ignored, and then it becomes a repository for garbage which could lead to a host of other issues (e.g. rat infestation, etc). As an aside, I would have a hard time believing this wouldn’t have been addressed immediately if it was in the street but since it is on a sidewalk it is deemed a low priority.”
In three days, NYC Parks received more than 21,000 service requests citywide stemming from Tropical Storm Isaias. This is greater than the total number of service requests they typically receive in more than four months. According to the city, the number of service requests received because of Isaias is second only to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, which took over 70 days for full city clearance. From the Park’s perspective, Isaias is on track to be the third-most damaging storm of the decade, behind only Sandy and the Brooklyn/Queens tornadoes of 2010.
“We conducted a preliminary inspection of this tree on September 8 and created a work order,” Anessa Hodgson from NYC Parks said. “We plan to deploy a team today to confirm the status and remove the tree this weekend.”