Correction: The storm killed an estimated 50 trees. The mayor shared an incorrect number.
Superstorm Sandy did more damage than just taking out power to a quarter of all of the city’s residents a couple of weeks ago.
It also destroyed an estimated 50 trees in the city.
“Worse yet, a lot of them were huge,” said Mayor Michael Summers. “The saplings didn’t topple. It was the big trees.”
Summers said that the storm caused “the second-worst loss of trees in our modern history.”
“The worst being July 4, 1969,” he said, referring to a tornado that swept through Lakewood causing mass devastation.
Trees in all parts of the city were uprooted during the recent storm, which came on the heels of the city’s announcement to form a “tree task force,” an effort by city officials to save the Lakewood’s aging trees.
“This was a little coincidental, but completely appropriate right now,” Summers said.
The mayor appointed two residents — David Sangree and John Palmer — to serve on the task force. Council, which will appoint three members of its own, approved the mayor's nominations on Monday night.
“This task force will look at all things related to trees,” Summers said, "trends, strategies, issues, communications and types of trees.
“I don’t think we’ve been derelict of duty with respect to trees, but I don’t think anybody thought we’d be losing trees at the pace that we are. I think we should plant thousands of trees, but we’ve got to be prepared to care for them.”