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Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXVII, Number 5755
Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg Thanks Parkies For Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts

Photo by Spencer T Tucker

On Friday, November 30, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Veronica White personally thanked a representation of the Parks Department employees who have been working long hours to assist the city in recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy.

The Mayor visited Alley Pond Park in Queens, which was particularly hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. Queens – the borough of trees - received over 14,000 emergency service requests - more than half the citywide total. More than 8,300 of those requests were for trees down and we estimate that over 200 trees came down in Alley Pond Park alone.

As the Daily Plant has documented over the past few weeks, Parks Forestry crews have worked around the clock during the storm and ever since to address emergency tree conditions, with support from State DOT, State DEC, NYC DEP, the National Forest Service and the National Guard.

But Parks’ contribution to the Sandy response and recovery effort has gone beyond the trees. For example, Parks plumbers in Flushing Meadows Corona Park spent hours manually cranking the Porpoise Bridge tide gates closed during the storm to minimize the amount of flood waters flowing into the park. At the World’s Fair Marina, Parks maintenance staff road out the storm safeguarding customer vessels, at one point rescuing and re-securing two that had broken away from their docks. Parks Supervisors in the Rockaways rode out the storm overnight at the Rockaway Garage so they could be on location to assess damage as soon as the storm passed. As the flood waters rose and eventually overtook the building, the team waded through waist-deep water and climbed into trucks to escape. They returned to work early the next morning and continued to work 12-hour shifts - this despite most having no power at home and some suffering serious damage to their homes and cars. And these are just a few stories of Parkies in Queens alone!

Throughout the five boroughs, Parks employees also inspected each of the more than 1,700 parks and playgrounds to make certain they were safe to reopen. Currently, 96% of park facilities have reopened to the public and progress continues to be made.

We once again thank every Parks employee who has dedicated their commitment to our city – our home - by working long hours and assisting in the post-storm relief and recovery operations.


“Seize the moment of excited curiosity on any subject to solve your doubts; for if you let it pass, the desire may never return, and you may remain in ignorance.”

William Wirt
(1772 - 1834)

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