Man's driveway blocked by toppled tree months after Isaias

Nearly three months after Tropical Storm Isaias an 86-year-old homeowner in Queens was still left with a mess in his front yard and that's when he called 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda.

Video Transcript

- had been nearly three months since Tropical Storm Isaias toppled thousands of trees in our area. On one residential street in Queens-- well, this is all that was left behind, a dangerous huge mess. An 86-year-old homeowner, frustrated and fed up-- it was time to call in 7 On Your Side's Nine Pineda to clean up this mess.

PETE BRENNAN: Just take a look at it. It's a major hazard.

NINA PINEDA: For months, the sidewalk in front of Pete Brennan's home has been a mess of crumbled concrete, whole slabs suspended in midair by the roots of a century old ash tree, toppled back in August by Tropical Storm Isaias.

MONICA BRENNAN: It's dangerous. It should have been fixed a long time ago.

NINA PINEDA: The tree towered over the Brennan's home since the family moved to Belrose in the mid 60s. Now she's gone, leaving the widower with a decimated driveway and no place to park.

PETE BRENNAN: I haven't used it since the 4th of August. Very inconvenient. I had a heart problem.

NINA PINEDA: Since the tree's roots are between the sidewalk and the street, maintenance is the city's responsibility. So when it fell, blocking the street, the city stepped in, cut it up, and carted it away-- but left the stump sticking into the street.

MONICA BRENNAN: Especially for my father-in-law, who would come home every day, and have to look at this, and worry about if someone was going to get hurt.

NINA PINEDA: Mr. Brennan's family and his neighbors called 3-1-1 more than a dozen times, even appealed to their State Senator and a local Counsel member. Yet--

PETE BRENNAN: Silence from the city.

NINA PINEDA: He could have hired his own contractor, then billed the city. But instead he called us, 7 On Your Side contacted the Mayor, the NYC DOT, and the Parks Department, which said Isaias toppled more than 3,600 trees. But after our calls, finally action. A city contractor ground down the stump and filled the hole. The concrete carted off, a new sidewalk and driveway poured. Nearly five months after the storm, the Brennan's got their driveway back.

MONICA BRENNAN: Thank you very much. Your help was greatly appreciated.