FOREST HILLS, Queens (PIX 11) — Residents on Fleet Street in Forest Hills, Queens were shocked to walk outside and find a massive tree sitting on top of their cars Saturday afternoon.
Tropical Storm Ophelia brought wind and rain to the tri-state area, but the FDNY couldn’t confirm if storm conditions caused the tree’s collapse.
Mike Ionescu owns the Alfa Romeo Giulia that was parked on the street and crushed just moments after he and his family exited the car.
“I normally don’t even park here but the kids were in the car and it was raining so I wanted to get them inside quickly, and 10 minutes later my neighbor knocked on the door and said hey, a tree fell and I think your car is under it,” Ionescu said.
A red Nissan Sentra was also parked on the street and damaged by the tree. There were no injuries, according to the FDNY.
“I was surprised by how quickly somebody from the city came,” said Steve Nadel, who lives nearby. “They had a couple of trucks, they had a chipper, and they had saws and a cherry picker, and they were able to lift almost all of it up and cart it away.”
Nadel said a neighbor had been complaining about the faulty tree. He said it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.
“The tree had been damaged for a while,” Nadel said. “The owner of the house in front of the tree had notified the city, he tells me, numerous times and nobody ever — the city never took action. It was a problem waiting to happen.”
The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation is responsible for removing damaged and fallen trees. A department spokesperson said the agency hasn’t received any service requests.