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Debris from downed trees is still strewn around Ukrainian Village a week after storm; neighbors want to know where city crews are

Tree debris still strewn about Ukrainian Village a week after storm
Tree debris still strewn about Ukrainian Village a week after storm 02:12

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A whole week after a major storm that prompted a tornado warning hit the Chicago area, downed trees and debris are still strewn about Ukrainian Village.

The debris is still lying around covering streets, tree lawns, and intersections. So when are city crews making it their way to do something about it?

As CBS 2's Tara Molina reported Monday, residents are getting fed up.

The messes are pronounced in the area from Western Avenue west to California Avenue and from Augusta Boulevard south to Chicago Avenue – particularly along Iowa Street. Piles of branches from downed trees are taking up parking spaces, while hanging branches have left no-parking signs mangled.

"I don't understand why it's still here," said Dave Rubin.

Rubin said a tree just missed his car parked in the street.

"It was really something," Rubin said. "It was a little scary."

But that nightmarish evening of bomb-like thunder, searing lightning, sheets of rain, and wailing air-raid sirens around the city for a tornado warning was Monday, June 13 - a whole week ago. Yet in Ukrainian Village, the monumental mess remains – with those piles of branches blocking car doors and lying bestrewn on parkways.

"I'd like to see them come out and clean it up," Rubin said.

Ukrainian Village residents question why storm debris remains one week later 01:51

He's not the only one.

"A full week – it's kind of messed with traffic. I know it's messed with street parking," said Chris Snyder. "It's just kind of – just still there, and it seems like there's no rhyme or reason why it hasn't been cleaned up yet."

Some people we talked to said they took it upon themselves to cut up trees and move them out of the street.

Now everyone is left asking, what's the deal? When will the crews that have cleaned up other parts of the city head to Ukrainian Village?

We reached the Department of Streets and Sanitation, which released this statement:

"The Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) Bureau of Forestry crews have responded to over one thousand tree emergencies that resulted from the storms last week. Once the tree emergencies are relieved, DSS begins to complete the tree debris removal requests. DSS crews worked over the weekend and they will continue responding until all the debris is removed."

But regardless of the policy of starting by clearing anything dangerous, Ukrainian Village neighbors said the cleanup process is taking too long.

"A week is a long time," Snyder said.

"Clean it up," Rubin added.

A Streets and San spokesperson did not say when crews will be back to Ukrainian Village, nor if pickup could happen during street cleaning this week.

The Office of Emergency Management and Communication did not respond to questions about how many 311 complaints the uncleared debris in Ukrainian Village has generated.

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