Several large trees that line Maple Street in West Hempstead crashed into homes Monday night as Post Tropical Storm Sandy barreled though the East Coast.
The 80 m.p.h. wind gusts uprooted the thick, 60-ft. Elm trees. Come Tuesday morning, two of them stretched completely across the street, blocking traffic, and many others were laying on lawns and leaning on homes and garages.
One massive tree busted through the second-floor master bedroom of one family's home. David F. was in the room at the time, looking for batteries and flashlights inside his nighstand after the power went out.
"The tree just came crashing down," he told Patch. "If it was 10 seconds sooner, as I was walking, the tree would have came right on my head, and if I was a foot or two over by the nightstand it would have fell on me."
The tree tore through the side of the house and attic, and practically landed on David and his wife, Shana's bed.
"From the kitchen it sounded like an explosion," added their daughter, Nicole, who was downstairs with her mother and sister, Rebecca.
"My glasses got knocked off," David recalled. Unable to see, he frantically searched for them and called out to his family. "I'm screaming for help. They came running up and Nicole came over and gave me a big hug and Rebecca gave me a big hug."
The family was planning to stay at a hotel in Queens. Most homes in the area were among the 900-plus West Hempstead residents who lost power. Another family on Maple Avenue told Patch they were leaving their home too because they smelled gas inside. National Grid trucks arrived on the block around 11 a.m.
How does your neighborhood look post-Sandy? Post your photos here.