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Gary Resident Says Street Overrun By Weeds And Trees Is Unsafe

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A senior citizen in Gary, Indiana, says the city has let her street get completely overrun by trees and undergrowth and it's unsafe for her now.

For 20 years Doris Crockett has called DeKalb Street home, but now it's a headache.

"There's debris all along there," she says. "I have been in the bed, and one of them limbs fell on my bedroom, sounds like a bomb hits my ceiling. They let everything grow off. They don't care. It's become a jungle. I hate to say it, but the city has allowed this block to go."

It's so bad even delivery drivers get confused.

"FedEx has rung my bell because they want to go down the street. I say, 'You'll have to turn around. The street is closed off,'" Crockett says.

That same overgrowth has made it really easy to hide various activities on the block, too.

"There was a trailer in the trees, and I think they were making out every day," Crockett says.

On a more serious note, she says not only has the overgrowth posed a danger to her house and her car but also she has caught people using the street like a junkyard.

"They're so used to seeing in my window to see if they're dumping that they turn around and come back out," she said. "One time someone brought a car and put it on fire."

Since her husband died, 70-year-old Crockett has been struggling to adapt to living on her own. She wrote a letter last year begging the city for help with DeKalb Street.

"I'm 70 years old . I need to rest, stay calm," she said. "With this Corona I can't do anything. I would just like to not think about things that are not my responsibility."

The City of Gary released the following statement regarding the situation:

Since he took office on Jan. 1, Mayor Jerome Prince has made cleaning up Gary a top priority. There's a lot of work to do, but Mayor Prince has a robust strategy in place to get to the many requests that were never addressed by the previous administration even as we also address new clean up requests.
As for the resident in question, I saw her outstanding requests are from 2019. I encourage her to reach out and call the Mayor's office so we can take a closer look at her concerns."
After CBS 2's story aired, the mayor paid a visit to Crockett's home.
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