CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of homes and businesses in northern Illinois remain without power Tuesday morning, as crews continue to repair power lines knocked down during the blizzard on Sunday and Monday.
Wet, heavy snow that piled up as high as a foot in some areas knocked down trees, taking out power lines and transformers across the Chicago area. More than 350,000 ComEd customers lost power, forcing many people to tough it out in the cold as their furnaces or heaters stopped running.
As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, approximately 27,000 homes and businesses were still without power. According to ComEd, more than 2,000 outages were in Arlington Heights, more than 1,600 were in Mount Prospect, and more than 2,700 were in Des Plaines; three of the suburbs hit hardest by the storm.
For people who have had to suffer through two cold nights without power, it’s frustrating as they wait for ComEd crews to get to their block.
John and Alice Blomquist live in one of 26 homes that lost power when a power line went down near Pine and St. James.
“Our children kept saying, ‘If this was us, mother, you would not let us stay in a house without heat,’ but we just didn’t want to pack up everything and go over there. It was easier to deal with it here,” Alice Blomquist said.
John Koktzoglou said temperatures dropped below 50 degrees in his home after the power went out, so he and his wife spent the night in a hotel. He returned home Tuesday to check on a few things, and ComEd told him it might be another day before he has heat again.
“Our power went out Sunday night around 11:15. Called ComEd, and been waiting for the power to come up ever since,” he said. “It’s very disruptive. It’s very frustrating. I’ve never had an outage that has lasted this long, but I understand there’s a lot of damage around, so just trying to get through it.”
The outage area covered much of northern Illinois, stretching all the way from Woodstock to the north to Pontiac to the south to Sterling to the west.
ComEd said about 1,000 repair crews have been dispatched in the wake of the storm.