Tree falls on Bay Ridge roofer’s roof during quick-hit storm

A tree lodged into the roof of the Boshell home on Bay Ridge Parkway on March 8, 2022.
Bill Boshell

A tree falls in Brooklyn!

Monday night’s thunderstorm, and the 60 mile-per-hour winds it brought with it, led to a number of downed trees in Kings County, including one that slammed right into the roof of a historic rowhouse in Bay Ridge owned by the same family for decades.

No one was hurt, luckily, though the roof suffered a great deal of damage. But it won’t be too much of a problem for owner Bill Boshell, because by trade he is, of all things, a roofer.

“Thank God I’m in the roofing business,” said Boshell, who owns Super Roofer and will be fixing his own roof. “The roof is the least of the trouble. Thank God nobody was hurt.”

The two-family home on Bay Ridge Parkway, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, was built in 1899, according to city property records, and has been in the Boshell family for about 75 years. The house is one block east of the Doctors’ Row Historic District on Bay Ridge Parkway between Fourth and Fifth avenues, but Boshell’s house is actually about a decade older than the houses on that stretch.

A closer look at where the tree snapped.Bill Boshell
A city worker works to remove the tree from Bay Ridge resident Bill Boshell’s property.Bill Boshell

The tree that fell on the house, after its trunk snapped in two during the overnight tempest, was also quite old, Boshell said, estimating its age at about 80 years. He said it was rotting from the inside, but that the city inspected it a year ago and deemed it safe to continue standing. The tree was actually in front of Boshell’s neighbor’s house; during the same inspection last year, the city decided to cut down a tree directly in front of Boshell’s dwelling.

The tree ripped a hole in the cornice and roof of the rowhouse and crushed the iron gate out front, but caused no interior damage, and the house’s occupants have not been displaced. The Parks Department has removed the tree from the premises after what Boshell described as a Herculean effort, but the owners will have to cover up the hole in the roof today before another rain and snow storm expected to fall on New York tomorrow.

It’s the first major disaster to befall the Boshell building that the owner can remember, but no disaster can uproot the family out of its ancestral homeland of Bay Ridge.

“We’re over 100 years in Bay Ridge,” Boshell said. “Super Roofers here, we got it covered.”