Photograph taken in Middle Village by A Walk In the Park

Nearly a month after a pair of tornados, plus a macroburst, left a trail of downed and uprooted trees, damaged sidewalks and homes, and crushed cars in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, President Obama has declared the boroughs "federal disasters," making them eligible for federal aid. Governor Paterson announced the news,"This is certainly welcomed news for New York City and removes a tremendous financial burden. The storm that spawned two tornadoes wreaked a path of devastation the likes of which New York City hasn't seen in 25 years. I thank the President, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and our Congressional Delegation for ensuring New York receives the assistance it so desperately needs."

The September 16 weather incident, which had one fatality and winds of up to 125 mph, caused, federal and state inspectors believe, $27 million in damage and cleanup costs. NY State explains, "Federal declaration provides 75 percent reimbursement to the three boroughs for the costs of response, debris removal and repairs to public property."