Chicago ComEd crews head to South Carolina, Florida to help with Hurricane Dorian

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago ComEd crew traveled down to the areas in the southeast that are in the path of Hurricane Dorian to support restoration efforts after the storm makes landfall.

An additional 100 ComEd employees left Tuesday for South Carolina, joining 500 other Chicagoans from the utility.

"We will get direction from the local utility, and from the local utility we will start the restoration process," said Vito Martino, vice president of distribution operations for ComEd. "Our main objective is safety and restoring our customers effectively."

But their compatriots in the Bahamas could help no one as deadly rain and 110 mph winds battered the islands. One resident sheltered in a church, which swelled from 40 storm refugees to 400 overnight.

"One thing with family, family looks out for one another," said Kevin Tomlinson, who lives in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. "We need the world now, we need the world to reach out at this point in time."

Dorian parked over the Bahamas for the last day, unusual for such a large storm. Now it's threatening the Florida coast as it slowly sets up for a run north, albeit as a Category 2 storm. Shelters are filling up as evacuation orders are heeded.

Among the fire volunteers with the American Red Cross in Florida is a retired Chicago firefighter and other Chicag-based Red Cross officials.

The ComEd crews are part of a larger contingency of employees from all the Exelon utilities assisting in restoration efforts, the company said.

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It's being called an extremely dangerous storm, as those in Florida are bracing for Hurricane Dorian, people in Chicago are heading down south to help.

After completing safety trainings upon arrival, ComEd crews will help repair damage and restore service as quickly and safely as possible during an expected multi-day restoration effort, the company said.

According to FlightAware more than 3,000 flights were canceled within the U.S. from September 2 to September 3. The biggest flight impact appears to be at Orlando International Airport and Ft. Lauderdale International Airport. Fort Lauderdale Airport is set to reopen Tuesday at noon.
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