Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
The city is waiting to hear just how much in federal funds it will receive to help cover the $24.5 million cost of cleaning up damage from September's 16th's tornadoes.
Parks Comissioner Adrian Benepe calls the post-storm cleanup the largest tree damage response in the city's history. There are currently 700 parks department staff involved in the cleanup effort - up from 500 last week.
Almost half of the city crews are up in the trees removing dangling branches, an ongoing safety concern, especially with the recent rainy weather.
4000 limbs and branches have been cleared away over the two weeks since the twisters touched down in Brooklyn and Queens. Benepe says crews are now looking to clear away the rest of debris in the parks.
In addition, more than 2000 trees that fell onto streets, sidewalks and houses have been cut up and removed. That wood, totaling 18 thousand tons, has been chipped. Demonstrating how severe this storm was, normally only about 13-thousand tons are processed a year.
The Department of Buildings says that all of the sidewalk repairs should be completed by the winter and that homeonwers won't be held responsible for any sidewalk damaged by a city-owned tree.