Thousands still without power after Tuesday storms

June 22, 2011 (ELMHURST, Ill.)

At 10 p.m. on Thursday, about 47,000 ComEd customers - 52,000 in the northern suburbs - were still without power.

The power outage has impacted several suburban businesses, including Ma Moody's BBQ in Maywood. With no electricity to keep the freezer and cooler going, owners there had to throw away hundreds of dollars in meat.

"We lost quite a bit. We lost slabs, ribtips, chicken, all kind of foods. Because it was so long, we had to actually dump everything out of the freezer," said Denise Moody, Ma Moody's BBQ.

Downers Grove is slowly recovering from the tornado that touched down there Tuesday night. According to the village, emergency alert sirens were not sounded because guidelines say a funnel cloud must be spotted visually before the warning sirens are activated. The town's website says the guideline was approved by the National Weather Service.

The western suburbs are among nearly a dozen areas hit hardest by Tuesday's powerful storm.

"I saw three branches go by, I mean big branches go up in the air, and I had real visions of the Wizard of Oz," said Donna Shearier, Elmhurst resident.

While Shearier and her husband are finally out of the dark, many of their neighbors are not.

"It hasn't been so bad because it hasn't been hot outside. So we put the food in coolers or sent it home with the adult kids. It has been OK," said Chris Rieger, Elmhurt resident.

On Thursday afternoon, hundreds of ComEd work crews assisted by other Midwest utility repair crews scrambled to restore service to customers.

"Having the bulk of the outages restored by late tonight, we anticipate tomorrow kind of localized pockets of customer outages in localized pockets of areas, which require extensive repairs, would be the kind of repairs that would go into Friday," said Terence Donnelly, executive VP of operations, ComEd.

ComEd says that 90 percent of customers who lost their power in Tuesday's severe storms should have power restored by midnight Friday.

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