ComEd: Power back on for suburban residents

July 20, 2011 (ALSIP, Ill.)

The thermometer is soaring into the high 90s Wednesday, but it could feel like 105 degrees or hotter.

Residents in south suburban Alsip were trying to cope without electricity after a late night storm knocked out power Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. At the height of the outages, about 2,100 suburban customers -- 1,000 of them in Alsip -- were left in the dark. ComEd said that all power was restored by 4 p.m.

Bill Shaughnessy spent $400 on a generator so he could have power in his house on one of the hottest days of the year. He was dripping with sweat Wednesday and waiting for ComEd to turn the lights back on in his neighborhood.

Shaughnessy's next door neighbor, Felicia McGrury, was also dealing with the power outage and rising temperatures. She said she had been trying to stay in her basement, where it was still cool.

"My lower level is a little bit cooler. I just try not to go upstairs," McGrury told ABC7 Chicago.

Neighbors on Orchard Lane say the lights went out Tuesday at approximately 7 p.m. They were frustrated because they said it was the second time in a month that they have had to deal with the same issue.

ComEd said crews were working on outages overnight. Power officials say they had to leave McGrury's neighborhood because a neighbor began to harass a power crew.

"I don't think neighbors should be harassing crews. I think we should let them do their jobs," said McGrury.

Crews are working the streets. Because of the heat, ComEd says it has initiated its emergency plan, which means crews are working 16-hour shifts with eight hours off in between.

Meanwhile, Chicago-area emergency rooms were preparing for heat-related illness patients. Stroger Hospital emergency room Dr. Tarlan Hedayati is warning people to take precautions.

"Drink plenty of fluids, cool baths, cool showers. Dress appropriately," she said.

Dr. Hedayati also shared other safety tips with ABC7 Wednesday morning.

City officials are reminding residents to check on the elderly and seniors with disabilities. Anyone can request a well-being check by calling 311. Chicago Public Schools distributed 1,500 fans to classrooms in an effort to keep cool. Many schools have at least partial air conditioning.

The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services operates six cooling centers, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Those who need transportation to a cooling center may call 311. Those locations:

  • Englewood Center
    845 W. 69th Street
    Chicago, IL 60621
  • Garfield Center
    10 S. Kedzie Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60612
  • King Center
    4314 S. Cottage Grove
    Chicago, IL 60653
  • North Area
    4740 N. Sheridan Road
    Chicago, IL 60640
  • South Chicago
    8650 S. Commercial Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60617
  • Trina Davila
    4357 W. Armitage Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60639

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