Water Main Break on Railroad Avenue

5,000 gallons a minute spill causes low pressure for residents and shuts businesses

By Regina Clarkin

Peekskill residents and businesses in much of the city woke up to little or no water pressure this morning after a 16” water main burst on Railroad Avenue, depositing 5,000 gallons of water a minute onto the street. Police noticed the rupture in the road at 5:30 a.m. and called the Department of Public Works. By 9 a.m. the DPW had isolated where the break was and shut off the water flow, allowing residents who live at higher elevations to regain pressure. (The city’s highest neighborhoods like Society Hill are served by storage tanks off Benefield Drive and were unaffected by this morning’s break). 

Water department crews are waiting for underground utilities such as Con Edison to come and mark the area where the break is and when they do, crews can start digging, said David Rambo, director of DPW.  Once crews start digging and expose the pipe, they’ll know if they have to cut out a section and replace it or repair the break. “It’s old infrastructure,” said Rambo. On Monday, the Common Council voted to fund digitizing all the water main maps. 

The last water main break of this magnitude according to Rambo, was the pipe at the intersection of Louisa and South Street last year. Besides businesses directly impacted with no water on Railroad Avenue such as Taco Dive Bar and Station Auto Body others like Peekskill Coffee House and Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street were closed this morning for the same reason. The street, which became one way last summer is now closed off. Commuters can use Requa Street to access northbound Metro North trains. Hudson Avenue remains open.