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Queens residents face travel troubles after Hurricane Sandy

Astoria is a section of the New York City borough of Queens that has been traditionally middle-class Greek and Italian, though it is an area becoming increasingly diverse with Middle East and Latino residents, as well as young, white "hipsters. "

There seemed nothing unusual outside the area's many Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches Tuesday, the day after the hurricane; the area was not among the sections of New York City most severely affected. There were reports of flooding in Astoria the afternoon the hurricane hit. But by Tuesday, the only evidence of flooding along the banks of the East River overlooking Manhattan from Queens were puddles of water.

Still, several large trees in Astoria Park were uprooted down to their roots, as if a Cyclops had come by and swept them away with the back of a hand. The curious were out taking photos and posing next to the fallen trees.

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Fall had come late to New York City this year, and the fall leaves still have not fully turned yellow or brown; in some areas, the sidewalks were inundated with leaves of mixed colors and fallen tree branches. Meanwhile, the hurricane's high winds claimed some large signage, which lay on the sidewalk, causing a pedestrian hazard.

The real problem for those who live in Queens -- with 2.2 million residents, the second largest borough in New York City -- is still ahead. Huge numbers of residents work in Manhattan. With subway trains stranded for several more days because of flooded subway tunnels that link Queens with Manhattan, many residents will either have to work from home or find other ways to get into the city's commercial and business center.

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April 22-May 5, 2016


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