South Loop business board up windows as police prepare for NATO - FOX 32 News Chicago

South Loop business board up windows as police prepare for NATO

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

On Wednesday, workers with "Busy Bee" were busy nailing, hammering and drilling, putting plywood over business windows in the South Loop ahead of NATO.

"They just want to get it up before anybody can get to it," said Dennis Byrd of BB Board Up. "It's a lot of glass and glass is more expensive than paying for a board-up. So they just want to be safe than sorry."

The area near State and Roosevelt is considered part of the "Red Zone" during the NATO Summit. FOX Chicago News photographers saw federal agents dressed in battle gear carrying weapons and guns walking in the South Loop near 15th and Michigan on Wednesday afternoon.

As the NATO preps become more visible, some people who live and work in the South Loop say they're forced to make a decision about leaving the area.

"I'm going to stay in the house," said resident Michael Lee. "I'm gonad stock up and go buy some groceries and pretty much stay in the house all weekend and just let it blow over."

"I'm hoping that we're making more out of this then it's going to be," said Vickie Wilson, who works in the South Loop. "I hope everybody conducts themselves accordingly."

Black fences were put up around McCormick place early Wednesday as well as around a number of businesses in the area. Workers will be out over the next few days securing the perimeter from 21st Street south to 25th and Indiana and over to the Lake.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said everything is being done to make sure residents, visitors and property are all taken care of.

"We're going to be intolerant of criminal behavior," McCarthy said.

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