WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A downed tree on Hotchkiss Street is becoming more than just a nuisance. It’s becoming a health concern.
“I’m afraid that if something happens to me, I can’t get help,” said Andre McCoy, who lives on the Waterbury street.
McCoy told News 8 he’s recently had heart problems, and now, because of the downed tree that’s blocking the only way in and out of his dead end street, he can’t get to his medical appointments.
“I was actually supposed to go to the heart doctor yesterday and the kidney doctor today,” he said. “I had to cancel both of them.”
Another Hotchkiss Street resident, who didn’t want to be identified, told News 8 she’s worried about her son, who also has medical needs.
“Because the ambulance can’t get into and out of the block,” she said. “I have a sick son who catches seizures, has heart conditions. I have to go get his medicines. I can’t get out of the block.”
McCoy said it’s been like this since the tree fell during the storm Tuesday night.
“Nobody of the city of Waterbury is coming out here to take a look at it to do anything about it,” McCoy said.
News 8 tried to get some answers for the concerned people who live on Hotchkiss Street. A spokesman for the Waterbury Department of Public Works (DPW) told News 8 off camera that DPW crews cannot go into the scene and begin tree removal until Eversource crews go in and de-energize the wires that the tree is pulling down.
He said going in before that happens would jeopardize the safety of city crews, who have logged lots of hours trying to clean up the city. News 8 followed DPW crews Wednesday as they cleared more than 25 city streets — on the job from 6 a.m. to midnight.
A spokesman at Eversource told News 8 there were more than 1,800 downed trees across Connecticut — as of 8 p.m. Thursday — and additional crews are coming from other states and Canada to aide in the cleanup effort.
Unfortunately for now, McCoy and his neighbors on Hotchkiss Street may be stuck for at least a little while longer.
“The police department and Eversource told me they won’t get to this tree until next week,” McCoy said. “So, if they won’t get to this tree until next week, how are people going to get to their medical appointments?”