CORTLANDT, N.Y. - Two days after Hurricane Sandy, trees hang ominously on wires, eight foot tree trunks form road blocks, and roads are too dangerous for school buses. Restaurants and coffee shops are swamped with customers, both for the coffee and the free Wi-Fi. About 4,200 homes are without power, about one-third of the town.
Many traffic lights in the town remain out, The light at Route 9 and Cortlandt train station is out. Furnace Dock Road is blocked by an enormous tree which downed wires. Lafayette Avenue is blocked by huge trees, and across all streets is a pulpy mixture of twigs and leaves being ground into tracks by passing vehicles.
There are no traffic signals or street lights on Route 6 through the City of Peekskill. Without those safety measures, manholes that were carved out as part of a repaving effort by the city have become hazards around which motorists are weaving. Although dark signals are supposed to be treated as four-way stop signs, most drivers are treating them as a laissez-faire highway system, where larger streets take precedent over small ones.
Most traffic lights are functional on the Town of Cortlandt side of Route 6.
The worst flooding was suffered in Verplanck and Croton. The Riveredge Trailer Park nearly met destruction when the Hudson River rose four feet, leaving carpets soaked and a one foot waterline around the inside of homes. About a half dozen trailers, some parked legally, some illegally, were destroyed.
Verplanck's Veterans Park is strewn with debris. Steamboat Dock Park was underwater Tuesday. Homeowners in Discovery Cove in Croton suffered flooded basements, accounting for several calls to Croton Fire Department. Croton Police Department's exhausted dispatcher said the department fielded hundreds of calls between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon.
Siding was sheared off of homes in Verplanck, shingles were found in front lawns in Cortlandt Manor.
Trees are freshly cracked, snapped, and uprooted through the town. At Roundtop, Cortlandt's nearly finished affordable housing complex on Route 9A, one of the tallest trees in the development is clearly visible on a hill over the highway broken in half. Part of Old Albany Post Road, at Old Post Road and Watch Hill Road, is closed by an uprooted pine tree which took down a myriad of wires.
During Sandy's wrath, two separate homes had trees crash through roofs overnight, and others have trees resting on the roofs, said Montrose Fire Department personnel.
Missing and damaged signs have left bald spots in the commercial landscape of the town. Fences are checkerboards for plywood, or are still missing panels altogether.
Street signs are bent at 45 degree angles. Chainsaws are buzzing throughout the town.