Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams (center) this morning to tour storm damage in the 49th Ward following last night’s severe weather, which brought strong winds, lightning and hail.
I have been in constant communication with the Mayor and his team since yesterday’s devastating storm, which downed trees, large tree limbs and power lines in the Rogers Park and West Ridge communities.
The City has responded with a full force of resources to clear our streets and sidewalks of the debris and limit further damage to property. We have a full complement of aerial lift trucks, clams, chippers, and chipper trucks, as well as various pieces of machinery for right of way work.
The City is prioritizing the clearing of roads to allow emergency vehicles to pass before beginning to remove debris from sidewalks and residential properties. City crews under the direction of my Ward SuperintendentDan Murphy will be working into the evening and throughout the week to clear debris.
The City’s Department of Streets and Sanitation will deploy a fleet of garbage trucks tomorrow to patrol the alleys to pick up any tree debris discarded by neighborhood homeowners. And crews will continue to work into the evening and throughout the week until all the debris is clear.
I’ve also been in regular contact with officials at ComEd, who tell me they are working feverishly to restore power to neighborhood residents who lost electricity in yesterday’s storm. At the height of the storm, 6,500 ward households were without power. ComEd reports power has been restored to 5,500 households.
All power from poles to transformers will be restored by 8:00 p.m. tonight, which will restore power to the vast majority of the 1,000 households that remain in the dark. Single service outages (from pole to home) will be cleared by noon tomorrow.
The Mayor tells me he has reached out to Governor Bruce Rauner to request State financial assistance for those who experienced property damage due to the storm. I will let you know of the Governor’s response.
I want to thank the Mayor and his team for their rapid response, including Greg Wagner from the Bureau of Forestry. I also want to thank Dan Murphy who has gone with little sleep since yesterday’s storm, who has been coordinating the response in the Ward.
Finally, I want to give special kudos to the many 49th Ward residents who came together yesterday to help clear the streets and sidewalks of downed limbs and debris. Once again, they demonstrated the very special and tightly knit bond our neighborhood enjoys.