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Peekskill Making Quick Recovery After Sandy

Riverfront Green Park remained flooded Tuesday morning after Hurricane Sandy made landfall overnight.
Riverfront Green Park remained flooded Tuesday morning after Hurricane Sandy made landfall overnight. Photo Credit: Eric Johansen

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – For the most part on Tuesday afternoon, it was hard to tell a hurricane hit downtown Peekskill.

Most city businesses reopened Tuesday, including many of the eateries along South and North Division streets. Roads had been cleared of debris and traffic was steady along Main and Washington streets.

Director of Planning Anthony Ruggiero said city staff did a good job dealing with the storm overnight.

"Our public works department, police, fire department, they've been fantastic," Ruggiero said. "They pulled through the night and they're cleaning up and Con Edison is slowly going through the city and cleaning up the major power outages at intersections."

"The wind was really terrible," Ruggiero said. "Traffic lights were just ripped up. The wind was worse than the rain."

The city said it will cancel the state of emergency at 8 a.m. Wednesday and would resume regular operating hours for the rest of the week, Ruggiero said.

About 2,900 homes remained without power at 1 p.m. Tuesday in several different neighborhoods and no timetable has been given for when power would be restored.

A shelter at Peekskill High School that housed about 25 residents overnight was closed at noon.

The most damage from the storm came at the Hudson Riverfront, where flooding and high winds caused extensive damage.

"I've never seen water like that in all my life here in Peekskill," said Peekskill Police Spokesman Lt. Eric Johansen. "They said the storm surge was going to be bad and it was. It had to be between 9 and 11 feet. It submerged Railroad Avenue and Water Street. The water was over the top of China Pier. The Hollow Brook that feeds into the river backed up over the banks into the parking lot there, and that has to be at least six feet high."

There were no serious accidents of fatalities overnight and Johansen gave credit to all the emergency responders who stayed on duty.

"Just to get here was a tremendous effort in the most dangerous of conditions and not to mention leaving their families at home, which is unsettling for any family as I know it is for mine,” he said. “It's a credit to emergency responders, who don't get enough credit for that."

The Hendrick Hudson School District and the Peekskill City School District have cancelled classes for Wednesday.

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