Some Mt. Vernon residents still waiting for power

Some Mt. Vernon residents still waiting for power
By: Arnold Wyrick

Mt. Vernon, IL - "I understand there's a lot of people out of power.  But it's been going on a week.  So I think it's time for it to be over and fixed," says Lori Grunno of Mount Vernon.
You can sense the frustration in her voice, and see the impatience with the situation growing in her face.  Added to not having power for nearly a week, trying to take care of three young boys on a daily basis.
"It's very frustrating that way, it's hard to take care of your family.  We don't have hot water because we have an electric hot water heater, so we're taking cold showers.  I'm having to do dishes in cold water, it's not something I like to do either," Grunno said.
Still as she watches the repair crews in her area go to work, she can only hope that today is the day the power comes back on.
"They've told us Tuesday night we'd be back on, Wednesday we were supposed to be back on.  They said we're supposed to be back on today.  When they walked through yesterday we were applauding them.  And offering them anything to get us turned back on," Grunno said.
But crews working in the area tell Heartland News it's going a lot slower in the neighborhood then they expected.   So for now those who are still without power can only sit and watch as the work continues.
"But we're fortunate enough that it's cool in the evening we can open the windows and there's a good breeze.  So we're staying cool at night that's the main thing.  But you can't stay cool during the day, I'm really warm," says Georgene pack of Mount Vernon.
Meanwhile every vehicle the city has and all the manpower they can muster is being used to clean up the streets and remove all the storm debris.
"We're estimating as of the end of Wednesday, that we'd removed over 30,000 cubic yards of debris.  And of course we're burning it all.  But we've got a long way to go.  We estimate that we've got at least 400,000 cubic yards of downed trees and limbs to pick up around town.  And it could take us as long as a month to get it done," says City Manager Roy Payne.