Hurricane Irene was no Hurricane Floyd for the City of Peekskill, but she did leave many trees down, roads closed and flooded basements in her wake. On the whole, the city got off lightly, Mayor Mary Foster said Sunday around 12 p.m. while assessing the damage by the riverfront.
"As I've been driving around, I've been trying to look for major infrastructure issues, and I haven't seen any," Foster said. "Clearly a lot of catch basins and storm sewers are being taxed, but, so far we haven't seen any pipes burst or anything like that."
Heavy soaking of places like Riverfront Green by the Hudson River's brackish waters may prove one of the Irene's most significant aspects, Foster says. "The biggest challenges are going to be what damage is left on the parkland after the high tide and everything recedes."
No city vehicles were lost or damaged by Irene, but water came into the city garage so fast that two cars owned by city employees were flooded out, Foster said.
One sign of the light damage incurred over night was the relatively small number of calls to police headquarters, said Chief Eugene Tumolo. "We had really a minimal number of calls," Tumolo said.
The city's Emergency Operations Center was open and staffed all night. "We were prepared for a worst case scenario that, luckily, didn't come to pass."
More damage came to light later on Sunday, as city fire trucks roamed the streets, pumping out flooded basements. And a tree that fell over on Main Street near Spring Street rested on power lines all day.
Another place where Irene's intensity was apparent was the intersection of Central Avenue and Water Street right on the riverfront. During Hurricane Floyd in 1999, several hundred feet of roadway were torn up when a 19th-century culvert literally exploded from the pressure.
A large crack in Central Avenue, bubbling manhole covers and two or three feet of water were the biggest signs of damage on that street Sunday. Jeff Dain, owner of the 160-year-old Dain's Lumber, said extensive preparations had left his facilities relatively unscathed.
Homestyle Bakery also reportedly avoided flooding, as did the still-under-construction Lincoln Depot Museum.
As water reached all the way across Riverfront Green Park at some points and the wind stayed high, police restricted access to the area early in the day Sunday. But many still gathered to see the clearest signs of the well-publicized storm's passing.