WATCH: NDG's Girouard Park devastated by storm
Residents in storm-stricken areas today are cleaning up and waiting for Hydro to restore power after yesterday's fierce winds ripped trees apart, blew out windows and brought down Hydro lines.
NDG/Girouard Park in NDG on Sherbrooke St. W. was hit hard by the microburst that touched down in the area, taking down massive trees that have been there for hundreds of years.
The ground was strewn with long, thick, leafy branches and tops of trees that covered stretches of grass. Some trees were snapped like twigs; others were sheared and splintered or toppled over.
The scene brought one longtime resident to tears.
"I didn't want to come, I couldn't bear it," said the woman who didn't wish to be identified. She said she had to steel herself for the devastation.
"I walked around the whole perimeter and it's much worse than I thought."
Reconstruction won't be easy or cheap. Jim Fyles, director of the Morgan Arboretum and professor in the department of natural resources sciences at McGill University, said the heavily damaged trees still standing would likely have to be cut down since they won't survive, adding that it would take about a hundred years for newly planted trees to grow into the tall, stately ones that were there.
Aurora, who declined to give her last name, lives across the street from the park and said she was "sad for the trees."
"I hope it'll have some semblance of what it looked like before. Or better," she told CJAD 800 News.
"Maybe it's an opportunity to make this park a stellar, awesome attraction for the area."
Some streets in NDG were cleared of fallen trees and branches and downed power lines, with the debris pushed to the side of the road or on people's lawns. Other streets were still blocked by trees that were blown over.
Work crews cordoned off areas that had dangling branches or power lines at risk of falling and the borough advised people to avoid walking or driving in these sectors.