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Carroll Gardens is no longer stumped

The Brooklyn Paper
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A Carroll Gardens sidewalk is fully walk-able once again after workers hauled away the remains of a massive Hurricane Sandy-toppled tree last Friday.

The hulking arbor fell during the Oct. 29 storm, crushing a cast-iron fence on the border of Carroll Park, but in the aftermath of the hurricane, cleanup crews left the massive stump leaning over the sidewalk, partly obstructing the path.

Neighbors cheered the removal of the hardwood, which has been a community nuisance for five months.

“This is great news,” said Carroll Street mom Virginie Smith, who frequently avoided walking past the protruding tree trunk with her small children to prevent them from getting hurt by the lumber or the mangled fence. “It’s perfect timing with spring when the park starts getting crowded again.”

A contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — the agency tasked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with assisting in debris removal recovery efforts — barricaded off Carroll Street between Court and Smith streets Friday afternoon and picked up the large tree trunk with a backhoe.

But motorists who parked their cars on the blocked off street were not happy that the more than an hour-long tree removal process took place without any notice.

“There were no signs posted anywhere,” said Clay Fraga, a Westchester resident and Carroll Gardens native who was unable to move his ride until workers moved their trucks and equipment. “It would have been another situation if someone was in an emergency and needed to move their car.”

Workers used dirt to fill in the deep hole the tree left behind and propped up the broken fence, but did not remove the severed remains of another large tree felled by Hurricane Sandy, which lay across the park’s rock garden.

That wood will remain in its place for good.

“A large portion of the trunk of the tree was left in place at the request of the Friends of Carroll Park,” said Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor. “This request was made right after the tree came down.”

The wood hauled off by the Army Corp. was taken to Floyd Bennett Field to be chipped and turned into mulch, officials said.

There were 19 Sandy-downed tree stumps across the borough as of Sunday, and all of them will are slated to be picked up by April 12, said an Army Corp. spokesman.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.
Updated 10:09 pm, July 9, 2018
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