Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Report from our Board workshop
March 16, 2023

Our first Spanish language story, profiling a restaurant that has served the Hispanic community for 25 years, was posted to our site on Thursday. As we move into 2023, we are working to bring more reporting in Spanish to our news site. This was one of the key goals discussed at our recent Board of Directors...

Big storm, Fourth parade and fireworks show kick off summer in Peekskill

(Photo by Joanne Myers)
The car belonging to the Myers of Dyckman Street escaped unscathed during Monday’s storm.

The “fireworks” started one day early this July in Peekskill when a powerful late afternoon storm ripped through the city on Monday. But Mother Nature showed her true colors are red, white and blue the next morning when the skies cleared to usher in a rousing Fourth of July parade through Peekskill’s downtown streets and another spectacular fireworks show at the Riverfront Green.

At about 5:00 p.m. on Monday a severe thunderstorm swept through Peekskill, moving east at 20 miles per hour. Ping pong ball size hail and 60 miles per hour wind gusts took down numerous tree limbs and power lines. The 500 block of South Street was closed until July 5 to repair the damage there.

South Street was closed to traffic on Tuesday.  (Photo by Regina Clarkin)

City of Peekskill employees from the public works department, Peekskill firefighters and the police department responded to many calls because of the numerous trees and power lines down throughout the city, Peekskill Police Chief Leo Dylewski told the Herald on Thursday.

Wareham-Gordon took this photo from inside her VW Beetle as firefighters cut away fallen tree branches on South Street Monday night.

Once such call came from Chloe Wareham-Gordon who was exiting Route 9 at South Street about 4:52 and noticed that the trees started “swaying like trees in tropical storms.” She became alarmed as she has a Volkswagen Beetle with a cloth convertible top. “The branches were scraping the side of my car and I could see out of the corner of my eye that a tree was falling directly in front of me. I was terrified and pulled over to the side of the road. Then the hail started and my car started getting flooded with water. I called the fire department because I was trapped by trees.” She also noticed that wires were coming down with the trees. Within 15 minutes the fire department arrived and within five minutes they had used a chain saw and an axe to clear a path for her to drive through. Her four-month-old puppy, Pebbles, remained calm in the back seat throughout the ordeal. “She was remarkably chill,” said Wareham-Gordon. “But it was the longest 15 minutes of my life.”

The top of a large tree was sheared off in front of Joanne and Decatur Myers home on Dyckman Street. “Once I saw the hail, I grabbed my dog and went down to the basement,”said Joanne Myers who noted the sound of the hail drowned out the tree limbs coming off. “Then the power went out and I was in the dark in the basement for awhile.” Her car was surrounded by tree limbs but didn’t have a scratch, unlike a car that was parked on the street and was demolished by the tree. That car belonged to someone who was visiting a person on another block said Myers.

The owner of this car was visiting someone in the neighborhood when the top of the tree sheared off. (Photo by Joanne Myers)

Myers was without power for a couple of hours and said it was scary as there were wires draped across her car and the destroyed car. “Con Edison was here pretty quickly,” she added.

For fireworks on Tuesday night, Dylewski estimated the crowds at Riverfront Green ranged up to 10,000 people, spread out over a wide area from the Yacht Club to the south to Peekskill Landing and beyond to the north. Navigating that many people through one entrance and exit point over the railroad tracks presents a challenge in logistics, but the evening went off without any major incidents.

“The parade was fantastic earlier in the day – there were no issues at all and that worked out extremely well,” Chief Dylewski said.

“We were very happy with how the fireworks were handled. It can be very difficult when you have that amount of people being funneled one way in and one way out. I’m extremely proud of the way the men and women of the City of Peekskill Police Department and everyone we work with handled the events. I couldn’t be more proud of their work,” the chief said.

This year’s Fourth of July parade, sponsored by the Peekskill Volunteer Firefighters Association, was dedicated to the memory of former parade chairman Jim Seymour, 3rd, who died on June 7 after a battle with cancer.







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About the Contributors
Jim Roberts
Jim Roberts has been in this business for more than 35 years (hard to believe) and still learning every day. A third-generation Peekskill resident, he started as a lowly researcher at the Westchester Business Journal in 1986 and learned how to be a reporter from many veterans in the field. He’s worked in private companies, Connecticut state government and wrote for the Co-op City Times for 10 years before retiring from full-time work in 2019. Roberts wants to contribute to building the Herald into a news website for residents who care about what’s happening in Peekskill.
Regina Clarkin
Regina Clarkin, Editor and Publisher
When the Peekskill Herald weekly newspaper ceased publishing in August 2000 it was the first time in the history of the city that there wasn’t a local newspaper.  The award-winning weekly was often referred to as the ‘glue’ of the community. Founded on January 9, 1986 by Regina Clarkin, Kathy Daley and Rich Zahradnik with a $7,000 credit card line, the paper filled the void created when the daily Evening Star was sold to Gannett and moved out of town. Founding publisher Regina Clarkin continued to live in the Peekskill Cortlandt area and turned her attention to other life endeavors.  Through the ensuing 19 years, Clarkin was frequently stopped in town and asked when she would start up the Herald again. In January 2019, Clarkin decided it was less labor intensive to deliver a weekly blog than a print newspaper so she began posting one story a week about life in Peekskill. After a successful crowd funding campaign in 2020, the Herald was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in July of 2021. Peekskill Herald is a digital relative of the former print edition, featuring many of the favorite aspects of the beloved Peekskill Herald such as old pictures, personality profiles and well written stories about newsworthy events. Regina Clarkin is the editor and publisher of the site. Photo by Joe Squillante