Thousands in west suburbs still without power

July 4, 2012 (WHEATON, Ill.)

ComEd is reporting that 4,300 customers still don't have electricity, with nearly all of them are in the near west and western suburbs.

For some, celebrating the holiday came down to one thing.

"We have power finally!" exclaimed Wheaton resident Robin Kimmel.

After more than three days in the dark, the Kimmel family got their lights turned on, but they are lucky. Most of their Wheaton block is still out.

"It's been really rough," said Wheaton resident Roland Berthelot. "We've been staying at my sister's since Sunday evening. It's made our schedule pretty difficult, and it's getting old. It's been getting really, really old."

ComEd says they have 2,000 people working around the clock to restore most of those still without electricity by Wednesday night.

"Right now we're into the very hard hit areas, this is the type of work we're doing right now," said ComEd's Fidel Marquez. "A lot of clearing of downed trees, clearing of the damaged equipment and rebuilding it with all new equipment."

West Chicago is one of those hard hit areas. Five of their utility poles went down during Sunday's storm. Residents are making the best of it and those with generators are helping the others out.

"Nobody is right now on this block without some type of power or their food is with us or a neighbor we've designated with the food," said West Chicago resident Debbie Black.

Meanwhile, back in Wheaton's Cantigny Park, many area residents gathered for a pretty unique July 4th celebration, even if it is lower key than what they are used to.

"We usually do the fireworks on July 3, so the kids were a little disappointed with that, so it's been different this year," said Wheaton resident Laurie Nordstrom.

ComEd said they will have the vast majority of those without power back up and running Wednesday night, although there might a handful of customers who might have to wait until Thursday to get their lights on.

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