Historic Outage For ComEd After Storm Leaves 852,000 In Dark

UPDATED: 7/11/2011 – 5:46 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Monday’s ferocious storm resulted in one of the biggest power outages in history for ComEd.

ComEd officials say it will take several days to restore service to more than three-quarters of a million customers left without power.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports

It is the second time in recent weeks that at least 400,000 residents have been left in the dark. Three weeks ago, about 433,000 ComEd customers lost power during another powerful storm in the Chicago area.

ComEd officials compared the freak weather to a World War II bombing campaign and said their growing count of customers who lost power at the storm’s peak would likely exceed the 861,000 recorded during an ice storm on March 8, 1998.

“It was like a blitzkrieg type storm,” ComEd’s senior vice president of customer operations Fidel Marquez said.

The northern suburbs were once again hit especially hard, with nearly 300,000 customers affected. Back in June, it took ComEd several days to restore electricity to a similar number of north suburbanites.

Many of those hit then are in the dark once more. And this storm could be even tougher on the utility’s crews.

Officials say a lot of downed trees are affecting power lines to a few homes. So, rather than one repair restoring power to several thousand residents, repairs this time may only fix the problem for a few homes.

ComEd spokeswoman Arlana Johnson says full power restoration is expected to take “multiple days.”

Currently, 500 crews are working to fix the outages and ComEd is expecting crews from Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana later today. About 463,000 customers were still without power as of 10 p.m.

  • nancy

    I realize mother nature can be a real “B” like she was this morning, however, ComEd has always given excuses on why this happened (infrastructure needs updating) and they just got an increase that we are paying. What did they do with all that excess money they have had for a while and say they need the increase for infrastructure…….you should have started that years ago with all your profits………..I imagine they will get out of paying for all the damaged food people have because they say it was a storm and nothing they could do about it. BS!!!

    • Mother Nature


      This was a Mother Nature incident. It was NOT the fault of ComEd. ComEd is NOT God. Lets see you get out there and repair EVERY thing that is down in hours like you are expecting. And NO, I’m not in anyway affiliated with ComEd. Just give them a break.

      • Chuck

        give them a break – r u serious? for the most of the year they do nothing and when the storm comes around they have NO IDEA what to do and how to do it. Seriously – they need to get it togheter – it’s XXI century – miedieval times are long over

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/07/11/approaching-storms-could-produce-hail-dangerous-winds/ Storms Produce Widespread Damage, Power Outages « CBS Chicago

    […] advantage of opportunities to buy healthy food, by using their LINK cards at farmers’ markets. 941Historic Outage For ComEd After Storm Leaves 765,000 In DarkMonday's storm may have resulted in the biggest power outage in history for ComEd. 1778DCFS […]

  • Mother Nature

    Nancy, btw, at the store they have things call generators that EVERY household or renter should have. Mine is running right now as we speak. And I’m sure it will be running for days to come, at no fault of ComEd.

  • Aj watson

    BS, trim the trees they know are gonna be problems!!
    And im glad you can afford a gen and the multiple days of fuel to power it.
    Were not all com ed employees like you two obviously are!!

  • Gjo

    I agree with Nancy, the Northern suburbs are a cash-cow for ComEd. They pay little for infrastructure improvements, yet receive huge revenues. It’s time that ComEd pays attention to the reliability in the northern “burbs”.

    BTW why should people of an advance civilization require generators to make up for the deficiencies of ComEd? When was the last time you experienced a water outage? I posit that a municipal utility is far more in tune with the needs of their customers than a private utility.

    • N9OK

      I last experienced a water outage when we lost power :(. We live in a semi-rural area and are on a well.

      The reliability of the infrastructure continues to degrade. I grew up in the Chicago area and remember very few widespread outages before 20 or so years ago. Now they are almost a regular occurrence. Our subdivision has lost power for more than 1 hour (sometimes much more than 1 hour) multiple times over the last 12 month period.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/07/12/much-of-mount-prospect-back-in-the-dark-after-latest-storms/ Much Of Mount Prospect Back In The Dark After Latest Storms « CBS Chicago

    […] In all, the storms left a staggering 852,000 ComEd customers in the dark. As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, 900 crews were out to restore power. […]

  • Mary Anne Witowski

    I SO agree with Gjo. BTW, I was undergoing Chemotherapy and those …….refused to replace a transfrormer that they knew needed replacing. Try doing chemo in the middle of winter w/o power. Such fun. Comed told me there weren’t enough people on our grid to justify replacing the transformer. I had to get an attorney involved, & then Comed all of a sudden replaced the transformer.

    Mother Nature, you disgust me. Not everyone can afford a gen, and why should anyone have to get one?! Comed gets away with murder. And those like you aid and abet them.

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