Central Park Ravaged By Saturday’s Freak Storm; Loss Of Roughly 1,000 Trees Expected

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

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Saturday’s freak snowfall may have been pretty to look at, but the combination of of high winds and heavy wet snow on fully-leafed trees wreaked havoc on Central Park.

The Central Park Conservancy (CPC) reports more than 400 acres of the park were damaged by the storm and estimates that 1,000 tress will be lost as a result.

You can read further details on the Conservancy’s website, which includes a slide show of some of the damage (the photo above is from a tweet sent on Sunday by the CPC). Most of the damage occurred south of 86th Street.

The cost of cleaning up the park is estimated at more than $500,000. The Conservancy is actively soliciting donations to help with the effort — click here if you’re interested in donating.

The New York Times has additional information on the storm damage. CPC’s president Douglas Blonsky told the paper it’s some of the worst damage he’s ever seen:

“It’s like a bomb blew off,” Mr. Blonsky said, as he conducted a site survey of the park on Sunday. He looked out his car window at a 70-foot oak tree, near the park’s southeast entrance. Only a jagged stump remained.

“Boom,” Mr. Blonsky said softly.

The timing of the storm was particularly bad — Sunday’s NYC Marathon is expected to bring 45,000 runners and 200,000 spectators to the park for the final leg of the race. A separate NYT article has the story on how clean-up crews are racing against the clock to finish work by race time.

Special kudos to ABC News for this misleading headline: “Trees To Blame For Nor’easter Destruction”

While I get what they were trying to say, it implies that the trees came to life and ransacked the park.

Here’s a brief video package from CBS-NY, as well as an AP photo of the damage that makes the park appear to be some sort of distant woodlands area:

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Photo: Seth Wenig / AP



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