'It's just a mess': Hundreds displaced after Hyde Park apartments lose power, heat and water

'I knew my dogs were at risk': Woman forced to sleep in car as temps drop below 0 degrees

Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Hundreds displaced after Chicago apartments lose power, heat, water
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Hundreds of people were displaced after Hyde Park apartments run by Mac Properties experienced a power outage amid cold Chicago weather.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Residents in three apartment buildings in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood said they have no power, heat or water.

Some tenants said the buildings they live in have been that way since Friday.

Residents said crews restored power to the third building that lost power on Tuesday. Hundreds of residents are already displaced and the cause of the outage is unclear.

"We don't know what's going on. We just know we've been displaced," one tenant said.

A woman who didn't want to be identified said she and her disabled son are among the hundreds of tenants without a place to live after the apartment building where they rent from suddenly lost power and heat.

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Another tenant, who also did not want to be named, said she spent Christmas Eve night huddled with her daughter to keep warm.

"Have you ever been so cold that you cannot feel the tips of your of your fingers? You could not feel your toes wiggle," she said. "We kept getting emails, it's going to be fixed within one hour, two hour, three hour, four hour, then all of a sudden it's midnight, and nothing."

They said they have not received an explanation and they don't know when they can return to their homes.

"It's just a mess," she said. "I'm just trying to get it together day by day... and all I can do is pray about it and hope something comes through."

The displaced residents said problems began when the power went out last Friday at two of the five identical apartment buildings that make up the Algonquin Apartments in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood.

"We don't have a plan. We're lost because of what they are telling us," another tenant said.

Building management Mac Properties could not be reached for comment, but in emails obtained by ABC7, a representative apologized for the inconvenience.

"This was a neighborhood outage that affected around 127 properties in the area... We have also requested an additional heating bus for warmth and comfort," they said.

When the power was not restored by Saturday evening, the city put up orange signage that deemed the two buildings unsafe and evacuated everyone living there.

And, because building management had not provided alternate accommodations by the time the signs went up, one tenant said with temperatures below zero, she like a lot of other people, was forced to sleep in her cars.

"I knew my dogs were at risk. So, I got in my car and I was sleeping in my car overnight," she said.

Tenants said it was later Saturday night when building management began offering hotel rooms to residents who needed them.

In an email to tenants, building management has extended their hotel stay through tomorrow but it unclear what will happen after that or how long it will take to restore power and heat to the buildings.

Another tenant said the second email she got from management was her rent bill.

Tenants United of Hyde Park and Woodlawn is reaching out to impacted residents to take action.