Don't Go into Backyard: Fire Officials

Downed wires still in Raffaella Caputi's yard after Monday's storm could be live

By Stefan Holt
|  Wednesday, Jul 13, 2011  |  Updated 11:01 PM CDT
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The wires have been in Raffaella Caputi's yard since Monday's storm blew through Elmwood Park.

The wires have been in Raffaella Caputi's yard since Monday's storm blew through Elmwood Park.

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UPDATE: The homeowner says ComEd was out at her home Wednesday morning to clear the mess.  She said it took a crew about 10 minutes to eliminate the threat.

Police tape blocks off part of Bloomingdale Avenue in Elmwood Park, where downed power lines from Monday's storm still obstruct an intersection.

The wires are being treated as if they are live -- a problem for Raffaella Caputi, whose yard is also off-limits because of the storm-severed lines.

During Monday's fast-moving storm that left some 860,000 without power, the top of an electrical pole snapped off and fell into Caputi's backyard.

Two days later, wires are still hanging and touching her fence. Caputi called ComEd six times, she said, and each time representatives told her they were working on restoring power and could not tell her when the lines will be removed.

"We're not looking to get the power restored," Caputi said. "We're just looking to get the lines off the property."

She even called Elmwood Park fire officials, who told her to stay out of the yard and away from the back door. If the wires become live, they said, the fence and the doors might be energized.

"It's a safety concern," Caputi said.

As of Wednesday morning, 199,000 homes are still in the dark. ComEd representative Tony Hernandez said 95 percent of power should be restored by midnight Thursday.

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