Sections

March 23, 2017 / Brooklyn news / Sunset Park / Brooklyn Is Angry

Cold war: Sunset Parkers furious after plows on Gowanus blast little girl with ice

Boarded up: Diomedes Varges’s landlord boarded up her windows after speeding snowplows on the Gowanus Expressway launched ice into her granddaughter’s Third Avenue bedroom on March 14.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

A 9-year-old Sunset Park girl was left bloodied and traumatized last week after a reckless city snow-plow operator on the Gowanus Expressway sent bowling-ball-sized hunks of ice crashing through her Third Avenue window.

It was a miracle she survived, say the little girl’s loved ones, and the city must stop its cowboy plow-boys from barreling down the highway and torpedoing ice onto the avenue below, or it will happen again.

“God must have protected her, but [the city] must to do something to protect us,” said Diomedes Varges, whose 9-year-old granddaughter Caitlin Morales was in bed when ice careened into her bedroom during Winter Storm Stella on March 14, hitting the little girl in the chest and slicing her nose and just below her eye, ABC 7 first reported.

“I heard an explosion and screaming from my granddaugh­ter’s room,” Varges said. “Snow like a bowling ball shot through her windows and cut her.”

The terrified fourth grader refused to sleep in her bedroom for days after the assault, and now more than a week later, with the panes boarded up and the plows long gone, she still jumps at rapping on the window and is sick with worry that it will happen again.

“I’m really scared that they’ll break the glass again,” said Morales. “It could happen again and we can’t do anything to stop it.”

Morales’s mom is now trying to find a therapist to help her daughter cope with the trauma and plans on rearranging the room so her bed isn’t below the windows. But she says her daughter won’t be out of danger unless the city takes action.

“We want that peace of mind because right now we don’t know what to expect,” said Clarissa Rios, the grade-schooler’s mother. “Every time it snows I’ll be afraid — Caitlin doesn’t even want to live here anymore.”

Morales’s family weren’t the only ones fearing for their wellbeing after the icy assault — the projectiles just narrowly missed a local woman who was breast-feeding her 2-month-old when ice rocketed into her bedroom.

“The room looked like a disaster zone,” said Joselin Vargas. “I had to shield my kids and my legs got scratched up.”

The ice also blew out more than a dozen windows on either side of the avenue, dented cars, and caused the Pentecostal Church of Jericho’s awning to collapse under an assault of frozen water.

Plowers raining hail down on the street has been a pain in the past, but never like this, said another local.

“It’s been an issue before but never this bad,” said Mario Rivera, who has worked at a Third Avenue mechanic for seven years. “They can’t change how the highway is set up, but they need to do something — anything to stop this.”

The city is investigating the Morales’s ordeal and encourages anyone who was hurt or whose property was damaged to file a claim with the New York City Comptroller’s Office, according to a spokeswoman with the Department of Sanitation.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Juan from Prospect Heights says:
I think if we can survive Trump, she can get past this. Godspeed.
March 23, 2017, 10:39 am
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Somebody call the waaaaambulance
March 23, 2017, 1:11 pm
Ken from Greenpoint says:
That's major news...
March 23, 2017, 2:41 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: