Killer storm hits Kew Gardens

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Killer storm hits Kew Gardens ( 2010 )
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by DIANA SHAMAN

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A stately oak tree that had been shading a corner house on 82nd Road and Austin Street for over a century snapped and fell in an eye blink as a tornado-strength wind roared through parts of New York City on Thursday, September 16, devastating some neighborhoods, sparing others, but generally causing widespread mayhem.

Although Kew Gardens was luckier than many areas in the amount of damage suffered, it, too, had major casualties, the oak tree among them.

Murray H. Berger, who lives up the block from the fallen oak, ruefully surveyed the sheered-off half of a massive maple he had planted in his backyard more than 40 years ago as a sapling and which over the passing years had faithfully shaded family gatherings and barbecues.

"We called it 'Madeline's Tree' because it grew outside her window," said Mr. Berger, who is Executive Chairman of the Kew Gardens Civic Association. "All that's left are the branches hanging over the garage."

Elsewhere, streets were roped off with police tape warning away cars and pedestrians. On 82nd Avenue, a crumpled red car was almost entirely buried in tree limbs.

The morning after the storm, the Austin Street oak, which had toppled on its house, had become a local tourist attraction. Photographers were out in force, snapping away, and passing cars and even passing busses slowed to a crawl as drivers gawked. A portion of its remaining trunk pointed to the sky like an accusing finger. Luckily, no one had been hurt, but a beloved neighborhood landmark was gone.

Earlier Articles:
  •   Jazz at Maple Grove Cemetery
  •   The Blizzard of 2009
  •   Filming in Kew Gardens
  •   The 95th Annual Meeting of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, Inc.
  •   Let It Snow - Scenes from Forest Park
  •   A Community Discovers Its Village Roots
  •   Spirits Alive! (2007) at Maple Grove Cemetery
  •   Day of Remembrance at Maple Grove Honors the Dead with a Celebration of Life
  •   Summer in the City
  •   Concerns Over P.S.99, Post Office, And Impact Of Potential Landmarking Draw Large Crowd To Town Hall Meeting
  •   Kew Gardens Community Day (2007)
  •   A Parking Lot Becomes a Flea Market
  •   A Touch of Soho on Austin Street
  •   Kew Gardens Merchants - The Bliss Café
  •   Kew Gardens Lights Up for the Holidays
  •   Queens Borough Hall Garage in Kew Gardens
  •   The House on 116th Street
  •   New Development in Kew Gardens
  •   Autumn Scenes in Kew Gardens
  •   Lantern Festival at Maple Grove Cemetery (2006)
  •   They Lift Up their Voices Every Friday