South Jacksonville spent most of the day yesterday still picking up pieces from Sunday’s severe storm emergency. Village Police Chief Eric Hansell says that most homes along the Vandalia Road/Avenue corridor have had power restored or will have power restored by today.
Hansell says there is still plenty of work to do: “We have all of the streets opened up except for southeast and south of Vandalia – Southview Drive and Southview Court are kind of closed because of all of the construction crews that are in there and as far as the Street Department cleaning up brush and the power crews going through hooking up power poles and wiring again. Right now, that’s going to be temporarily closed to residential traffic only. No other traffic will be able to get through there. We are doing pretty good. Residents in the village have really gone to work, and they have been dragging all of their brush out to the curb. They are getting it piled up so that crews can go through and pick it up. It looks like most of them are also separating the trash and debris from the vegetation debris, which is going to be really handy for us to get rid of the vegetation debris.” Hansell said yesterday that the Southview Drive and Southview Court should have reopened yesterday afternoon, but to be aware that some work may still be going on in that area as far as power line repair and tree removal.
Hansell says homeowners who have structure damage need to do their due diligence if they are solicited by a contractor for repairs in the next several days: “They just need to be aware that when contractors show up that you want to vet them pretty good – look at references, word of mouth. If they have a website, check it out. Make sure you get a written contract and that the terms are very clear and well understood by everyone.”
Hansell says concerned residents can also contact Village Hall or the Village Police Department to check if the contractor has a solicitation permit to go door-to-door. Hansell says if they don’t check all of the boxes to close your door.
The other main concern in the village is power lines. Hansell says you can contact the Police Department or Ameren-Illinois if you’re unsure about any utility lines laying in your yard: “There could be utility lines down in back yards that we may have not found yet or haven’t been called in. Be aware of any lines that are down, even if they are cable or telephone lines. They could still possibly be energized if they are laying across a power line, so you want to make sure that you don’t touch them. Any gas leaks or power issues like that, make sure and report them to Ameren. If you believe that it’s a safety issue, contact the Village Police Department and we can come down and take a look at it and get some other arrangements made until Ameren can get there to take a look.”
If residents have emergency issues, please contact the Police Department at 217-245-9222 or call Village Hall at 217-245-4803. Power or gas issues should be reported to Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000.
The Village of South Jacksonville is expected to discuss the emergency response and any further remaining issues during a special meeting Thursday night at 6PM at Village Hall.