Hundreds of fallen and damaged Central Park trees from Tuesday night’s violent wind and lightning storm will be turned into mulch, according to city officials.
The incliment weather caused the park’s famous elm trees to snap in half, while many were uprooted. Officials determined that between 500 and 600 trees are irreperable, while thousands of others will need to have their limbs removed.
Toppled trees landed and crushed many parked cars, while knocking down numerous powerlines. Nearly 1,000 Con Ed customers experienced power outages. The storm shut down West and East Drives in Central Park, major north and southbound thoroughfares, as well as parts of Riverside Drive.
New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said the damaged trees can only be turned into mulch.
“In Manhattan and in Brooklyn, Queens and parts of Staten Island, any tree that comes down or dead trees…those are all part of the Asian Longhorned Beetle quarantine area,” Benepe said, “That means the wood cannot be reused for any purpose, cannot be shipped out for firewood or turned into furniture or lumber. It all has to be chipped up,” said Benepe.
The cost to replace the trees is expected to be at least $500,000. Donations by the public towards the rebuilding of Central Park are being accepted.