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CHICAGO (CBS) — It was about 24 hours shy of a full week after the violent storm last week when the final ComEd customers got their power back.
The last customers got their power back on around 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning. In all, 850,000 customers were restored following the storm on Monday, July 11.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Michele Fiore reports
The outages came close to setting a record, falling just short of those from a 1998 storm that left 865,000 customers without power.
The cost of restoration topped $80 million, almost twice the usual budget for storms. Staff from utility companies in neighboring states – and even more remote states from Tennessee to Pennsylvania – were brought in to rectify the power crisis.
The northern suburbs were the hardest hit by the outages. Many people had to throw away hundreds of dollars’ worth of food when their refrigerators ceased to function, and some decided to shack up in hotels rather than suffer through the outage at home.
But even with the outages from the storm all now fixed, ComEd says it is concerned about the heat taking a toll on the system.
The agency says it is adding extra staff to take calls, as the temperature climbs to 94 degrees Monday and remains in the 90s all through the coming week.
ComEd spokesman Tony Hernandez on Sunday that the utility’s emergency operations center will be open through the week.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)