ComEd: About 124,000 still without power

July 13, 2011 8:40:21 PM PDT
Thousands of households in the Chicago area still do not have any electricity two days after Monday's big storm.

Many of those still in the dark may be that way until sometime Friday night.

At the height of the outage, a record 868,000 homes had no power. Late Tuesday, ComEd said they had 124,000 homes and businesses still to go. The majority of those without electricity continue to be in the northern suburbs where frustration is growing.

Brian Boroski and his family have burned through a lot of candle wax since Monday morning when they lost power. The tree down in the back line that fell on a power line is the apparent cause of the outage, but they have had no luck getting anyone from ComEd to look at it, much less fix it.

"We have gotten the run around. We don't know when anybody is going to come and take care of any of this," said Boroski. "We have been calling every day about three, four times a day and checking the automated line."

In Round Lake Beach, a tree not only brought down the power line but also smashed Mary Reed's daughter's car.

"It is awful to wait this long and no communication at all of what's going on," said Reed.

"We are not happy that the tree smashed the car, but we found a way to get through it," said Brandon Davis, son.

ComEd tries to restore power to the largest number of customers it can in one incident and then move its way down toward the smaller issues. Tuesday afternoon, crews worked near 41st and State to restore five poles in the area in order to bring power back to just 25 customers.

"It is all hands on deck. It is all hands on deck, plus," said ComEd's Fidel Marquez. "We have over 900 crews right now, from a variety of states, certainly all around the Midwest, but as far south as Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi coming in to give us a hand with the restorations for these customers."

For those without electricity, work crews are a welcome sight in the neighborhood. In this case, the crews were in Chicago on loan from the Detroit area, joining crews from all over the country who are trying to restore power to northern Illinois in what ComEd is estimating could be the largest outage in its history.

The majority of customers without power are located in the northern suburbs, but there are scattered outages throughout the area, and an estimated 10,000 are still without power in the city.

The outage near 41st and State has forced the summer camp organizers at St. Elizabeth's Church to find alternatives for the 110 kids.

"It has been non-stop scrambling since Monday," said St. Elizabeth's Stan Tarr.

The St. Elizabeth's camp has been able to use other facilities donated from Holy Angels Church and DuSable High School, but they may be able to be back in their building by Thursday.

The crew from Detroit hoped to be done in the area around 41st and State by Wednesday evening.

As for the rest of ComEd's customers, the company says 99 percent of them should be back on by late Friday night, 100 percent by the weekend.

ComEd said the best way to report a downed wire or an outage is via their website, Customers can also resigster complaints with ComEd on Twitter or on the telephone.

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