Homeowners, ComEd assess storm damage; 92,000 still without power

July 2, 2012 3:10:57 PM PDT
As the intense heat continues, thousands of people remain without power following a strong storm that toppled trees and power lines.

As many as 250,000 people were without power, according to ComEd, at the height of the outage Sunday. Around 92,000 people remain without power as of noon on Monday. ComEd said Monday that they had their full crews out working to restore power to the hardest hit areas -- Carol Stream, West Chicago, Addison and Wheaton in DuPage County and Maywood in Cook County.

"More crews are coming in from Wisconsin, Kansas City, and other locations" on Tuesday, a ComEd spokesperson said. It could take days for the power to be restored.

Carol Stream, West Chicago and Addison were the hardest hit by the storm. Officials in West Chicago say it could take a month to clean up the debris and are warning residents to stay away from power lines, which could still be live.

Winds as strong as 90 miles per hour uprooted trees Sunday afternoon. Many streets are still blocked by fallen limbs. And homeowners are assessing the damage and beginning the cleanup.

"We have four trees on the house. Three of our own trees and one from across the street and the corner of our house got damaged," Diane Mosier said. "It's terrible. I'm like numb. I haven't had a reaction yet. I'm sure it will hit me soon."

"I'm surprised it didn't break and come through. We tried to grab the animals and get in the basement," Chris Blakemore said.

While much of West Chicago remains without power, Mike Naill is running his generator.

"I'm glad I had one. It's expensive to buy one so I'm glad I had one," Mike Naill said.

The power outage could last for days, as could the intense heat. To help those without power, a cooling shelter is now open at Benedictine University in Lisle.

"We'll deal with it. We dealt with it yesterday," Joe Vavrek said. "[The] neighborhood came together."

Wheaton cancels fireworks, parade due to power outage

In Wheaton, the storm damage means no parade or fireworks for the Fourth of the July.

"We have been working at the ComEd center to prioritize the list of customers without power and restoring power to critical places like hospitals and nursing homes," said David Gervino, DuPage County's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Wheaton is one of several suburbs in DuPage County that received a substantial amount of damage to homes and businesses Sunday afternoon.

Most DuPage County government offices are closed Monday because of the outage including the courts and the Wheaton's Cosley Zoo. But county departments that provide critical functions, such as the sheriff's department and animal control, remained open.

Meanwhile, officials are still assessing the damage as work crews clear the area.

"One of our main problems is that a lot of ComEd lines were down and tree damage was heavy," said John Kawka, Dupage County Public Works. "We're trying to clear them up and allow ComEd access so they can get to the backyards to create what other problems have come up."

But with another 90 degree day without electricity, some aren't sure they can wait out the recovery after the storm.

"We're looking into hotels right now," said Elizabeth Chako. "We're probably not going to be able to stay here much longer."


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