Wildlife Terrorists or Misunderstood Mammals?
Alleged raccoon-induced power surge in Oak Lawn leaves unanswered questions about possible wildlife conspiracy.
Are raccoons plotting a takeover of Oak Lawn?
According to Commonwealth Edison, that could be a possibility. CBS-2 Chicago parachuted into Oak Lawn on Thursday to cover the widening probe of last weekend’s power surge that ComEd deemed caused by a raccoon.
Two fallen power lines darkened more than 1,000 Oak Lawn homes and businesses March 9-10. The outages were traced to downed wires at 91st Street and Cicero Avenue, and behind Freshline Foods at 5335 W. 95th Street.
Dozens of ComEd customers in Oak Lawn complained they lost computers, TVs, cable boxes, refrigerators, wash machines and other appliances when a powerful electrical surge went coursing through the village's utility lines after power was restored early Sunday morning.
Oak Lawn firefighters also responded to a string of 911 calls from worried residents who reported smoking surge protectors, light switches, electrical outlets, and a burning smell in their homes after power was restored.
Residents say they want ComEd to reimburse them for thousands of dollars in property losses. A ComEd respresentative visited the village last week to help residents fill out claim forms, but it's not guaranteed those claims will be honored.
ComEd says it’s not responsible for the equipment failure because a raccoon caused the outage at both locations. It can't control the raccoons. Apparently, this has happened 129,000 times before, according to Google.
Oak Lawn Trustee Alex Olejniczak, whose Dist. 2 constituents took the biggest hit, has logged over 50 complaints from residents who lost personal property in the surge.
Last weekend's power surge has left several unanswered questions:
- Did Oak Lawn’s raccoons conspire to take out the village’s power lines last Saturday in an act of wildlife terrorism?
- What are the odds of two random raccoons striking village power lines within a 30-minute time frame?
- How did one raccoon cause power lines to snap and fall at two different locations approximately 1.2 miles away from each other?
- Should residents be concerned about more raccoon conspiracies and attacks on village utilities?
- Is the raccoon going to be okay?
ComEd has some 'splaining to do because residents aren't buying it.