HARVEY, Ill. (CBS) — A senior center in south suburban Harvey was still in the dark Wednesday, more than 48 hours after the storm blasted through the area.
As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, it was not clear how long the winds were in Harvey during the Monday afternoon storm, but the damage spoke for itself on Wednesday – as downed poles lay on Robey Avenue across from places like dark senior housing facilities.
Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark is asking for help.
ComEd crews on Wednesday surveyed the extensive damage in Harvey from a helicopter. They were getting a better look at a line of downed power poles that extends for blocks – one of the main reasons much of Harvey remained in the dark two days after the storm.
“I have to fan, fan, fan, because I keep a fan in my purse,” said Vivian Tate-Latham.
Tate-Latham lives in the Jesse Jackson Jr. Senior Housing, where power has been out since Monday.
Management is not expecting it back until early Saturday.
“You can’t cook, you can’t have any air, you can’t have anything,” Tate-Latham said.
Luckily, Tate-Latham has family to stay with. But others are not so fortunate.
“We’re doing wellness checks every day through social distancing, because COVID is still around we haven’t forgotten about that,” said Deborah Samuels, property manager for Preservation of Affordable Housing Communities, or POAH, which manages the facility.
Worried family members told CBS 2 their loved ones were navigating dark hallways and stairwells. They questioned why POAH does not have a backup generator.
So Graves asked Samuels just that.
“Well, I can’t answer that question. The YMCA of Metro Chicago had (the building) first,” she said. “But POAH’s plan is going forward, there is going to be a generator for this building.”
There is also now a need for things like fresh food, which the City of Harvey provided on Wednesday. The mayor is worried about keeping it up if the power stays down.
“We don’t have the financial resources,” said Mayor Clark, “and we have more of a disaster than many of those other communities.”
The mayor said about 85 percent of all of Harvey remains in the dark. Traffic lights at major intersections remain out.
He said power crews are working their hardest, and now he is looking elsewhere for help.
“Our state rep was out here,” Clark said. “We’re hoping to get our (Cook County) commissioner and possibly President Preckwinkle out here so they can put an actual eye on the what’s happening here.”
The senior home has about 120 units. Thankfully, management said everyone was in good health and no one had any serious illness.
An update on restoration progress from ComEd in the area was not available Wednesday night, but out-of-state repair crews with an Alabama power truck were seen nearby.
Meanwhile, some residents have complained that they have had trouble reaching the City of Harvey for help. We asked the mayor about that.
Mayor Clark said the city has only two people answering what he calls thousands of phone calls. He urged people who need help to keep calling.
But if issues continue, we’ll be sure to follow up.