CHICAGO (CBS) — With the freezing temperatures in Chicago lately, a water main break is the last thing anyone wants to hear about.
But one happened in the Grand Crossing neighborhood, and it has left a watery mess that has caused frustration and backup.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the intersection of 83rd Street and Ingleside Avenue was left flooded Tuesday after days of below-freezing temperatures that are known to pose risks to water mains. Late Wednesday, residents on the block were without running water.
City crews were on scene trying to fix the problem, and by 10 p.m., the floodwaters had receded and a sinkhole was visible.
But an hour earlier, the water was more than ankle-high and was rising.
“And it smells,” said Carol Chandler. “This is sewer water.”
Those high above are safe, but Carol Chandler and other neighbors are trapped.
“Our front door is blocked with water and the alley entrance way is blocked with water,” Chandler said.
Even Terry himself couldn’t get to Chandler – they chatted from across the street on the phone. Her frustration revolves around just how long it is taking for city crews to respond.
The water main broke around 1 p.m. Wednesday.
“City services have not been here. They came to assess the situation, but no one has come until now,” Chandler said. “After we contacted the news, we saw some results.”
Water Department crews showed up around 7:15 p.m. – nearly six hours later – after numerous calls to 311, according to neighbors.
“We should not be last to receive city services,” Chandler said. “We’re first to report crime and last to receive city services – that’s how it feels.”
Pictures from daylight showed just how high the water came to cars parked on the block. And while Chandler understands pipes break in the winter, she said this was not the first time.
“We deal with this flooding on regular basis, unfortunately,” she said.
As crews worked to get the water cleaned up Wednesday night, Chandler hoped this would be the last time they show up.
“My comments are not about saying what people are not doing,” she said. “We just want to some expedient service to permanently fix this problem – because we pay our taxes over here too.”
Late Wednesday, crews continued to work on the broken water main and sinkhole. It was not clear whether it would be the permanent fix that Chandler is looking for – though all hope it is.