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Dozens Of Residents Lose Power In Lakeview

Lakeview Outage

A transformer blew out at Ashland Avenue and Diversey Parkway, causing outages in Lakeview. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 07/21/11 8:35 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Dozens of residents of the Lakeview neighborhood lost power Thursday morning, when a transformer blew out.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports the heat is not to blame for knocking out the transformer in an alley behind the Shell gas station at Ashland Avenue and Diversey Parkway.

ComEd believes a lightning strike during the brief round of thunderstorms that struck early Wednesday morning is to blame for the transformer failure.

But either way, the heat will be a misery-inducing factor for those affected by the outage, given that they now have neither air conditioning nor fans.

The customers affected by the outage are not right at Ashland and Diversey where the transformer is located, but are actually 10 blocks away. It was not specified exactly where the affected area was.

ComEd crews left around 7 a.m., after saying they would need a few hours to fix the transformer.

Andrew Cook of Lakeview said he still had power Thursday morning, but couldn’t imagine the situation for those who did not. CBS 2 found him on an early morning run.

He said he was “drinking a lot more water; try to stay hydrated and out of the sun if I can.”

At one point early in the morning, about 2,000 ComEd customers in Lakeview were without power, but most had their power restored by 4 a.m.

As of the latest count, there were 7,300 outages in all, of which 5,100 were in the city of Chicago, about 1,000 in the suburbs, and several hundred each in the northern and far western suburbs.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

ComEd says it has 400 crews roaming about, restoring power to homes and businesses that lose it.

Despite the intense heat and humidity this week, ComEd says we have not broken any records for electricity use. Spokesman Tony Hernandez says the utility is more than capable of meeting the demands.