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Business owners and residents worry about falling rusty streetlights

CHICAGO (SCS) — We learned that two other streetlights toppled over in 48 hours of wind across the city.

Bring the grand total to at least five and put the taxpayers on edge.

CBS2’s Tim McNicholas reported from Sheffield and Armitage on what happened.

“It was on the ground.”

Amy Helgren says she thought she heard a car crash Thursday afternoon. She walked out and saw this outside her kids’ clothing store in this busy section of Armitage.

“We just looked at each other like, thank God it fell like that, and nobody was on the sidewalk walking, it could have been a lot worse,” Helgren said.

A few blocks away in Armitage and Halsted a pole crashed into a car early yesterday morning. And we’ve discovered at least 3 more poles down in Chicago since Wednesday.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt.

“It would never have occurred to me, walking down the street, that I would have to worry about a lamp post falling on a person.”

A neighboring business owner says he is worried about the wear and tear on this pole a few meters away. And he’s not the only one with his eye on the posts that haven’t fallen yet.

Cicero Chimbanda is a jogger who worries about those rusty poles between the 100 and 300 blocks of South Lake Shore Drive.

“You don’t want to have anything, especially with the wind. It’s a windy city, so you want to make sure everything is safe,” he said.

And he’s not the only one to have noticed.

The city’s own data from an audit conducted a few years ago shows concerns about at least eight streetlights on the 300 block of South Lake Shore — yet there are still rusting poles in the area.

We called Alderman Brendan Reilly’s office and an aide told us they had asked the Department of Transportation in February to inspect and replace rusted poles in the neighborhood.

They are still waiting for an update.

“I look at this and say it’s only a matter of time,” Chimbanda said.

Back on Armitage, business owners would like the city to check those streetlights as well.

We contacted the Department of Transportation on Friday to ask about the fallen pole and those on Lake Shore Drive – but have not heard back.


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