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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

With More Than 20,000 Homes Still Without Power, Chicagoans Set Up Front-Yard Charging Stations To Help Neighbors

"It's just important that everybody takes care of each other," said one resident, who was inviting neighbors to use some of her home's electricity.

Beverly resident Amy Keleher's daughter and a neighbor at the Keleher family's charging station.
Provided/Amy Keleher
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LOGAN SQUARE — Across the city, Chicagoans are stepping up to help neighbors still without power after Monday’s storm by setting up makeshift charging stations on sidewalks and in parkways.

As of Wednesday afternoon, about 170,000 people in the Chicago area, including more than 20,000 city residents, still had no power because of the intense storm that downed thousands of trees and power lines, and saw a tornado touch down in Rogers Park.

ComEd has restored service to nearly 80 percent of customers, but those still affected might not get power back until Saturday, according to reports.

ComEd did not immediately respond to Block Club’s request for comment.

Amy Keleher and her family set up a makeshift charging station in the parkway in front of their Beverly home Tuesday morning to help her neighbors who lost power.

Keleher ran an extension cord out of her home, set up chairs and a table, put out signs and knocked on her neighbors’ doors to let them know the station was there should they need it.

Credit: Provided
Logan Square resident Elsbeth Cool set up a charging station at Diversey and Albany avenues for her neighbors Tuesday.

Several neighbors used the station throughout the day, Keleher said. When she went out there Wednesday morning, a baby monitor was left charging.

“I really just thought about the people around me, the family with the baby across the street. … the neighbors on the other side have kids that are living on devices,” Keleher said. “I thought about what I would need if our power was out.”

“It’s just important that everybody takes care of each other.”

In Logan Square, Elsbeth Cool, owner of Four Star Family Cyclery, did the same at Diversey and Albany avenues. Cool used the extension cord from her bike shop and set up some lawn chairs.

When Cool posted about her charging station on a neighborhood Facebook page Tuesday, the post exploded with positive messages. As of Wednesday afternoon, Cool’s post had been shared nearly 550 times.

Similar setups, many of them offering hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, are popping up in neighborhoods across the city. WTTW spotted some in Lincoln Square.

“We’re lucky enough to have power on this side of the street, so we may as well share it,” Cool said. “Sometimes it’s as easy as running an extension cord out of your window.”

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