Middle Village in Queens caught the worst of Thursday night's storm, getting slammed with a "Macroburst" which featured winds of 125 mph, a maximum path width of 5 miles and a path length of 8 miles. Today the blog A Walk in the Park surveys the extensive damage, and slams the NYPD for sending home 18 special duty officers once the storm blew through. Robert F. Holden, president of Juniper Park Civic Association, reports that Middle Village still looks "like a war zone":

As hundreds of calls poured into 911 operators from frantic residents, a call came from NYPD headquarters at One Police Plaza in Manhattan to the 104th Precinct stating that the 18 officers weren’t needed and could go home. The result was that Middle Village was left essentially on its own with the normal contingent of precinct officers. On a good day the officers assigned to the104th precinct have their hands full patrolling the maze-like 7.5 square miles. However the night of the storm in Middle Village was anything but good.

As neighborhood streets became overrun with rush hour traffic spilling off the congested LIE and gridlocked Queens & Woodhaven Boulevards, the situation was made much worse with only a token police presence and no one to direct traffic or keep frantic motorists away from blocked roads with downed trees and wires. Most emergency calls to the precinct went unanswered.

Holden says the cleanup is being botched as well, and there are "not nearly enough crews out to cut the downed trees and clear roads and sidewalks... Parks is hiring companies to help with the clean up effort. I toured the neighborhood today and only saw Con Ed crews repairing downed wires. Many major streets and sidewalks are very dangerous with dangling trees and limbs." Since Friday, the FDNY has been out with chainsaws trying to clear all the fallen trees, and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe says 400 staffers and contractors have been working 12-hour shifts. Speaking to reporters over the weekend, Benepe urged patience, saying, "Don't try to chop down a tree yourself, don't try to use a chainsaw yourself."

City law prohibits citizens from removing city trees without a permit, but Queens Councilman Dan Halloran is asking the city to allow homeowners to remove city trees and branches from their own property. He says some streets are still blocked, and the clean-up would accelerate if homeowners were able to pitch in. "I think the city needs to take a dose of common sense. And common sense is, you don't enforce a rule which is designed to keep the landscape of the city okay while we're in the middle of what is effectively a disaster area," Halloran tells NY1.