ComEd: 99 Percent of Customers Restored After Tuesday’s Storms

/PRNewswire/ — Working round-the-clock, ComEd crews have restored power to virtually all 440,000 customers affected by the powerful storms that hit northern Illinois on June 21, including two tornadoes that touched down in the Mount Prospect and Downers Grove areas.

ComEd mobilized more than 800 crews to repair downed power lines and damaged equipment and expects to have the remaining isolated outages in heavily damaged areas restored by Saturday.  Full staffing of crews will continue around the clock until any remaining outages are restored.

The company repaired or replaced more than 100 transformers, 100 poles, and 240,000 feet of overhead cable, since the storm struck. This is the fourth-most-severe storm in the last several years, as compared to recent heavy storms, including:

  • Aug. 23, 2007 – 634,000 customers affected (worst in a decade)
  • Aug. 4, 2008 – 520,000 customers affected
  • Oct. 2, 2006 – 490,000 customers affected

Most damaging were the hurricane-force winds, heavy rain and lightning. Sustained winds were clocked with gusts in excess of 80 miles per hour. To assist with the storm restoration effort ComEd requested assistance from neighboring utilities in Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri and its sister utility in Pennsylvania, PECO.

Customers in communities throughout northern Illinois have been affected, but the largest number of outages occurred in the northern and western suburbs.

ComEd prioritizes outage restoration to ensure public safety first such as police and fire, then hospitals and other critical customers. Next, ComEd restores feeders, which allows us to return power to large numbers of customers at one time, followed by smaller service restorations and individual outages.

Public safety is paramount.

  • Anyone encountering a downed power line is urged to immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661) and report the location. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
  • Never approach a downed power line. Always presume a power line is energized and extremely dangerous.
  • Check on elderly and other sensitive family members and neighbors to ensure their safety and make alternate arrangements, as it may be some time before their power is restored.

ComEd also offers the following suggestions for customers experiencing a prolonged outage:

  • Turn off all appliances including your furnace, water heater, and water pump.
  • Leave a lamp on so you can know when power has been restored.
  • Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed and open them only when necessary.

Customers who are on medical support equipment are strongly encouraged to evacuate to a place where they can be comfortable and safe.