Stubborn power outages exacerbate heat for some

July 5, 2012 (CHICAGO)

ComEd says everyone should be back on line by late Thursday night.

Many in Winfield Township had been without power for up to five days before getting their lights and air conditioning turned back on Thursday. Their food had been destroyed, they were running out of things to eat, and some felt no one cared about them. The situation continued to be hazardous.

Kevin Kosatka lives in unincorporated West Chicago and Winfield Township. He said he has never experienced such devastation, and that his backyard looks like a war zone. The storm uprooted several tree, including one on top of his roof. Thursday marked his fifth day without power. Even his truck is totaled, and he is ready to leave.

"I'm ready to give up, you know what I mean? I want out of here," said Kosatka.

Across the street is the home of Michael Degraff, a fallen tree has damaged his roof, and being without power and water since Sunday has been very trying.

"I'm really worried about a lot of the senior citizens, and then even with them being on fixed incomes," said Degraff.

"It's been really hard. We had to move out of the house and go live with my mother-in-law because we didn't have air conditioning, but more importantly, because we are on a well and septic system, no power means no water, and so we haven't had any water for five days," said resident Vince Fresher.

Residents are cleaning up debris from the fallen trees. More than 60 homes in this area have been without power. ComEd workers have been working 16 hours a day to remedy the situation.

"Over 321,000 customers were affected by that storm and as we are at this location, we're in the process of getting the last 1,000 of those customers back in service today," said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president of external affairs at ComEd.

Marquez says the heat and conditions have made it difficult for workers to complete their jobs. A number of residents have complained that the county has not done anything to help the situation and to ensure that the elderly and the residents are taken care of.

"I think they're taking too long, and plus DuPage County hasn't been around knocking on anybody's door asking if we needed water or if anybody was hurt or OK. Nobody has been around to check on us," said Kosatka.

As of Thursday evening, DuPage County officials were going door-to-door to check on residents who were still wtihout power. Officials in Winfield Township said they were unaware that some residents were offline until an ABC7 report aired earlier in the evening.

As of 4:00 this afternoon, everyone ABC7 interviewed had their power back on and their water running. More than 60 homes in the Winfield Township area were on their fifth night without power Thursday. ComEd was predicting by late Thursday evening, everyone would have their power back on.

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