Construction blamed for water shut off

2013-10-21T17:49:00Z 2013-10-21T22:12:10Z Construction blamed for water shut offElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

EAST CHICAGO | Residents in the area of 144th Street and Tod Avenue were left without water Monday morning because of construction in the neighborhood.

The water shortage was the latest in a string of problems the neighborhood has experienced this month. Last week about 50 homes were evacuated as a precaution because of a ruptured gas main at Emlyn Place and Tod Avenue.

Herbie Cruz, director of the city's Emergency Management Agency, said he was told the water was temporarily shut off because of construction in the area. Representatives from the city's water department did not return phone calls for comment late Monday.

Juan Puente, a precinct committeeman who lives in the neighborhood, said he was upset over the lack of communication about the water shut off. He said he received five calls from residents who wanted answers about why the water was shut off but didn't have any answers.

"Nobody told us anything," Puente said. "I know a lot of people were upset. They couldn't wash their clothes or take a bath."

Cruz said he was told residents were informed they would temporarily lose water by workers who were supposed to go door to door.

Burt Montgomery, 80, lives in the neighborhood and said he noticed the water was shut off around 11 a.m. He said he called the water department and was told the water would be back on in a couple of hours.

"I just brought bottle water into the kitchen," Montgomery said. "I used it to make my coffee and my wife's tea."

He said water was turned back on in his house just before 3 p.m. He said the water was also temporarily shut off Sunday, but it did not cause a huge inconvenience.

Some residents in the neighborhood said they didn't experience or notice that water was shut off. Alicia Ward said she was at work during the day but noticed the water pressure was low Monday evening.

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