While Howard Beach struggled under rising floodwaters, other neighborhoods in South Queens were left to worry about falling trees, power lines and whether or not the lights would stay on.
Power held for most of southern Queens, especially in Ozone Park and Woodhaven, though South Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park lost service fairly early in the storm. Though most residents in Ozone Park had electricity, businesses on Cross Bay Boulevard south of Liberty Avenue were dark after the storm and traffic lights were out for the stretch between Liberty and the Conduit.
Falling trees and live power lines were a major concern for residents during and after the storm. A woman from South Richmond Hill, Lauren Abraham, 23, was killed when she stepped outside her home on 105th Avenue near 134th Avenue during the storm and a live power line fell and electrocuted her.
A number of trees fell, blocking roads throughout the area. In some locations, trees took out electrical lines, but cut power only to one or two houses on a single block.
A large tree crashed down onto Woodhaven Boulevard, blocking all but one northbound and right before Jamaica Avenue. The tree remained on the road on Wednesday, forcing commuters waiting for buses to wait on the median between the northbound service and express lanes.
Woodhaven also suffered the loss of its iconic 40-foot tall evergreen tree at Forest Parkway and Jamaica Avenue. The tree has for decades been the site of the neighborhood’s Christmas celebration and was decorated each year with lights and ornaments.
Forest Park saw extensive tree damage, with fallen limbs and trunks blocking Forest Park Drive. A tree struck the roof of the Forest Park Carousel, which recently closed for the season, but there was no damage to the ride itself, just to a small portion of the roof, according to its operator, New York Carousel.
Resorts World Casino New York City closed its doors during regular hours for the first time since opening a year ago on Monday at 4 p.m. The casino, however, suffered no damage and reopened on Wednesday.
For most residents, Sandy’s aftermath was dedicated to sharing stories of the storm and focusing concern on relatives and friends south of the Belt Parkway. As power was out in the neighborhoods to the south, many residents from there crowded into the shops in Ozone Park and Richmond Hill looking for food and supplies and talking about the storm and its aftermath. For many in South Queens, the hurricane was a storm to remember.
Rachel Torie, a flight attendant who moved to Ozone Park over the summer from her lifelong home on the Texas Gulf Coast, said that while she was no stranger to hurricanes — having survived both Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008 — Sandy was major even by her standards.
“This was a big storm,” she said. “And we know something about big hurricanes in Texas.”