While most of the Upper West Side escaped Superstorm Sandy relatively unscathed, the same cannot be said for two of the neighborhood’s most beloved features:
Central Park and Riverside Park.
Both suffered extensive wind damage to trees and infrastructure, with Riverside Park also experiencing significant flooding from the Hudson River.
Relative to the devastation elsewhere in the Tri-State area, Upper West Siders should consider themselves amazingly fortunate that mangled parkland seems to be the most pressing issue affecting the neighborhood right now.
Here are the official statements from the Riverside Park Fund and Central Park Conservancy:
Riverside Park was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Areas of the park were under four feet of water, washing out paving, park furniture, and landscapes and leaving behind tons of debris. We have lost dozens of mature trees throughout the park, and hundreds more trees have lost or damaged limbs.
The park’s staff have begun to clear debris and remove fallen trees and limbs, but they are still assessing damage and identifying hazardous conditions. Until the City determines the park is safe, Riverside Park remains closed, as do all City parks.
The cleanup is expected to take several days — many of you have offered to help with the cleanup, and we thank you. Once the full extent of the damage is determined and the park is safe we look forward to having your help. Until then, we urge everyone to be safe and stay out of the park.
And remember that you can always support the long and costly clean-up efforts by donating to Riverside Park Fund. Your help in ways big and small makes all the difference!
Hurricane Sandy has left serious damage in its wake, and we hope you’re all staying safe. Conservancy staff is hard at work clearing the transverse roads and paths, as well as pruning limbs from Fifth Avenue, Central Park West and the East Drive. Our current estimates show that approximately 250 mature trees are uprooted or compromised, and the number will increase as our staff is able to survey the Park’s interior. There has also been significant damage to the Park’s infrastructure, including benches, ballfields and fencing.
There’s a lot of work to be done in the Park to ensure safety and accessibility for all Park users and to have it ready for the ING NYC Marathon on Sunday. We ask everyone to help the Conservancy by staying out of the Park until further notice. The work we’re doing to clear storm debris can be dangerous. Please help us to work as quickly as possible by avoiding city parks, all of which are currently closed, until the damage is assessed and repaired. For the latest updates, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Repairs to Central Park are possible thanks to the support of our members. We truly thank those who support us.
Between the two parks, Mayor Bloomberg’s insistence that Sunday’s marathon proceeds as planned makes the restoration effort in Central Park much more urgent.
The Central Park Conservancy’s announcement last week of a $100 million gift seems like it couldn’t have come at a better time.
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Tags: Central Park, Central Park Conservancy, Frankenstorm, Hurricane Sandy, New York City, NYC, Riverside Park, Riverside Park Fund, Riverside Park storm damage, Sandy, Sandy damage, storm damage, Upper West Side, UWS