CHICAGO (CBS) – Many Chicago residents were venting their frustration Friday with the pace of the city’s efforts to clear the streets of snow.
Hundreds of snow plows have been out working to clear the city’s snow packed side streets for more than a day and a half, but they still have plenty of work to do.
The work started early Thursday morning and many drivers were able to get out of their neighborhood for the first time on Friday, but many others were still waiting to have their street dug out Friday afternoon.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, there are more than 3,300 miles of side streets in Chicago – the distance from Chicago to Las Vegas and back.
Many streets in Chicago still had not seen a single snow plow since the storm first hit Tuesday night, including the 7300 block of South Phillips Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood.
“They’re not even delivering mail here,” a South Shore resident named Helen said on Friday.
Helen, who didn’t want to give her last name, said she needs her mail because she’s a diabetic and depends on the mail to receive her life-saving supply of insulin.
“I can’t go without insulin,” she said. But she’s run out and hasn’t gotten any mail since the blizzard started.
She said mail trucks – and any other vehicles for that matter – can’t make it down her still unplowed block.
Along her stretch of Phillips avenue, snow is piled as high as three feet deep.
Fellow South Shore resident Vicki Odom said the snow has literally kept her out of her apartment.
“I’m trying to get home. I haven’t been home since Tuesday,” she said. “I’m very disappointed with not being able to get home, at least check on my own place and see how my apartment is doing.”
Try as she might, Odom once again wasn’t able to drive home on Friday. She said she isn’t willing to risk driving into the deep snow on her street.
“I don’t want to get stuck and then I have a second problem,” Odom said.
While Odom has been stuck outside her home, Madge Cannamore and her 86-year-old, oxygen-dependent husband have been stuck inside theirs.
“If we need to call for the ambulance to come, then we’re in trouble because they can’t get down the street because the street hasn’t been plowed,” Cannamore said.
That’s what worries Cannamore, who looks after her oxygen-dependent husband as he battles heart disease and emphysema.
“If he has chest pains and they don’t subside, then I have to call an ambulance to rush him to the hospital,” Cannamore said. “At this point … the street is in such bad condition, I don’t think that ambulance could get down the street.”
Plows still hadn’t made it to Phillips Avenue by Friday evening. Residents tired of waiting have taken on the big dig themselves.
“I would love to see a snow plow,” Terrance Glasper told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman.
Residents say the lack of city aid could be an issue for them in the Feb. 22 aldermanic election.
Incumbent Ald. Sandi Jackson called for an investigation into the city’s slow response.
“It’s not fair, it’s not even, and it’s not equitable and something has to be done about that,” she said.