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ComEd Outage Creates Ice Shortage

With many North Shore grocers out of ice, residents scramble to stay cool.

Like a woman on a mission, 46-year-old Sharron Ventura bolted inside a Walgreens in Morton Grove and quickly approached the cashier to ask: “Do you have any ice? Everybody’s all out.”

Ventura’s concerns are legitimate, as major grocery stores in the North Shore and elsewhere in the Chicagoland are out of one cold commodity: Ice.

Ventura drove up from Kankakee to check on her elderly mother in Skokie after she got news of ComEd’s power outages. More than and Ventura, a mother of two, traveled more than 60 miles in her tiny SUV, a Geo Tracker, to check on her mom.

Unfortunately, Ventura’s vehicle doesn’t have air condition – but she can bear that, she said. She is more concerned for her mother, who is currently killing time at the Skokie Public Library.

“I’ve been to Jewel, Dominick’s and they're all out,” she said. “The heat doesn’t help the situation either.”

Ventura is worried about how her 73-year-old mother is going to fare without electricity.

“If [my mother’s] power doesn’t get restored today, I’m gonna’ book a hotel through Hotwire for the night,” she said. “It’s just too hot. Unbelievable.”

An employee at the Walgreens – who asked to have her name withheld – said the store had seen a large number of customers seeking bags of ice since the recent outage.

“We’ve got ice,” she said. “Maybe it's because people don’t think of Walgreens when they think of ice, but we got it.

"People are still coming in today asking for [ice], though a lot more came in yesterday,” said the employee at the store in Morton Grove. 

Matt MacKellar, an employee at the Skokie Public Library, said the branch’s phone lines have been busier than usual.

“We’ve been getting a lot of call from people asking whether we have Internet access,” MacKellar said. “Our Internet is fine and a lot of people are just using the computers.”

Recently, Skokie Patch That could explain the high demand for Internet use at the local library.

Meanwhile, the following supermarkets are without ice in the North Shore area: 

  • Jewel, 9449 Skokie Blvd., Skokie.
  • Jewel, 411 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette.
  • Jewel, 1517 Sheridan Rd., Wilmette.
  • Food-4-Less, 2400 Main St., Evanston.
  • Dominick's, 6931 Dempster St., Morton Grove.
  • Dominick's - no power, no ice - 2748 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette.

Note there may be more grocery stores without ice, so please call before making the trip. 

Karen Buccola July 13, 2011 at 04:44 PM
Last summer we were without electricity multiple times and for many days at a time. I found that by taking a frozen turkey from my freezer and placing it in my refrigerator, I could keep the food nice and cool and without all the mess that a bag of ice makes. The turkey is so solid that it takes a very long time to defrost and they are wrapped in heavy plastic that doesn't leak. Then when the power comes back on, you can make a nice turkey dinner. Two turkeys work even better if you have the room (one on the top shelf and one on the bottom shelf). Try it - it works!
George Slefo (Editor) July 13, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Thanks for the tip!

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