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ComEd Crews Return From Sandy Storm-Repair Duty

ComEd crews from the Chicago area return this week from duty on the Northeast Coast. (CBS)

ComEd crews from the Chicago area return this week from duty on the Northeast Coast. (CBS)

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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(CBS) — ComEd crews have begun to return home after taking part in the clean-up from Super Storm Sandy.

Some crews from other utilities encountered angry homeowners and needed police escorts to get their jobs done.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

But not Lin Taibl and the Com Ed crews who returned Wednesday to the ComEd yard at 76th Street and Lawndale Avenue after making repairs in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, including the heart of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

“Actually, people were very, very thankful,” she said.  “They would bring doughnuts, coffee and bagels to the guys every day, and they made sure they were helping us as much as we were helping them.  So, actually, we didn’t encounter any of that.”

Taibl and the others say the damage is unlike anything they’ve seen in the Midwest.  Instead of swaths of damage several hundred yards wide, this devastation went on for mile after mile after mile.

Com Ed’s Bob Johnson said that made working this job far different from most other repair work Edison has done to assist out-of-state utilities.

“What no one was really prepared for was no fuel, no place for people to bed down,” he said.  “All the consumers and customers taking all the hotels, (which meant) busing people 50 or 75 miles just to get to the work.  That was interesting.”

A ComEd spokesman said all of the crews have returned safely and that damage to the utility’s vehicles was minimal, even though some of the crews were dispatched to points in Maryland and Pennsylvania ahead of the storms, expecting the worst.