NW Side Walmart closed after health inspection finds rodent problem

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A Walmart in Chicago's Hermosa neighborhood was temporarily shut down due to a rodent issue.

A Walmart on the city's Northwest Side was shut down temporarily Tuesday because of a rodent issue discovered during a health inspection.

For the third time in a week, city health inspectors have been at the Walmart at 4650 W North Ave. in the Hermosa neighborhood. The store remains closed as it failed another health inspection Wednesday.

Many would-be customers of the Walmart on North Avenue didn't realize the retailer was closed until they got close.

Tuesday, the store was closed by the Chicago Public Health Department due to a rodent issue that apparently was not resolved.

The health department said inspectors gave the staff five business days to remedy a rodent situation, but it was not and a re-inspection Tuesday resulted in store being shut down for health concerns.

Alderman Emma Mitts came see inspectors on-site Wednesday afternoon.

"They are actually going around with a flashlight looking underneath in the coolers, under the bins and if she can't see up in there, they have to take that bottom shelf out," Alderman Mitts said.

The alderman was among those sharing the news with those trying to shop here.

"That's like really shocking for you to tell me something like that," said Rosetta Jackson. "That's really shocking."

The closure magnifies a bigger issue of fewer retailer and pharmacies in some of the West Side neighborhoods.

A 78-year-old woman walked to the store to get her prescriptions only to find that she could not get her medications there.

Augustine Colon appreciates the handicapped access here and is troubled that it is closed.

"It's a hardship," Colon said. "A lot of people shop here I think all the time so I am kind of upset about it, what can I do?"

"We need more resources," Alderman Mitts said. "We need more resources in the community. You can see people the people come here for everything. Any time of the day and this Walmart is filled."

Health inspectors are expected back at the Walmart on Thursday to see if things are cleaned up.

Walmart issued a statement saying, "Our store on North Avenue is temporarily closed as we address a situation following a City of Chicago inspection. We have stringent quality standards in place and are working closely with the Department of Public Health. We take this matter seriously and will reopen as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers."
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