ComEd working around the clock to restore power to customers impacted by
CHICAGO, July 1, 2012
CHICAGO, July 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 360 ComEd crews are working
around the clock to restore power after a severe storm tore through the
Chicago area, causing power outages for more than 250,000 customers. As of
8:00 p.m., power has been restored to over 96,000 customers.
The storm struck suddenly and violently. According to the National Weather
Service, the western suburbs experienced wind gusts of 60 to 90 mph, heavy
rain and pounding hail. In Addison, more than an inch of rain fell in 25
minutes. There were a total of 3,400 lightning strokes recorded, primarily in
the west and south.
The hardest-hit areas are in ComEd's northern region, where the utility is
working with municipal officials and local businesses to provide regular
updates. Some of the communities hardest hit were Lombard, Elmhurst, Wheaton,
Carol Stream, Addison, West Chicago, Villa Park, Roselle, Glendale Heights,
Elgin and Glen Ellyn. As a result, ComEd is deploying its new Mobile
Operations Center (MOC) to help speed the restoration effort.The unit, which
can house 25 ComEd engineers, dispatchers and other key storm response team
members, comes fully equipped with the latest communications, satellite and
video conferencing technology. The MOC brings ComEd closer to its customers
in times of severe weather and damage to the system. This will optimize
restoration efforts, allowing ComEd to understand and respond to customer
To better coordinate response and improve customer service during significant
outage-related events, ComEd staff also has been deployed to the Joint
Operations Center established by DuPage County. This enables ComEd and its
municipal partners to operate from a pre-designated location within the
community to expedite restoration to public health, life and safety
Other steps ComEd has taken to improve communications during outages include:
oStrengthened its customer service center's call volume capacity.
oImplemented a two-way text messaging capability that allows customers to
text their outage to ComEd and get restoration information in response.
Customers can text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report their outage.
oLaunched a mobile application for smart phones that enables outage
Due to the violent nature of this storm and extensive damage, ComEd is
expecting restoration efforts to take several days. Most damaging to the
ComEd system was lightning and high winds, which uprooted trees, downed power
lines and damaged electrical equipment. The outages are difficult and
time-consuming to restore because crews will need to remove limbs and entire
trees that snarled wires and snapped poles.
ComEd's restoration process begins immediately with damage assessment. This
process enables the company to determine hardest hit areas and factors it into
restoration times. The company then prioritizes outage restoration to ensure
public safety first such as police and fire, then hospitals and other critical
customers such as pumping stations. Next, ComEd restores feeders, which allows
us to return power to the largest numbers of customers at one time, followed
by smaller service restorations and individual outages.
To assist with the restoration effort ComEd has requested assistance from
neighboring utilities in Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri as
well as other states to supplement the 360 ComEd crews already in the field.
Public safety is paramount during storms and ComEd encourages the public to
remember to take the following precautions:
oIf you encounter a downed power line, immediately call ComEd at
1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661) or access our website at ComEd.com and
report the location. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES
(1-800-955-8237). Customers also can visit Twitter for restoration
oNever approach a downed power line. Always assume a power line is
energized and extremely dangerous.
oCheck on elderly and other sensitive family members and neighbors to
ensure their safety and make alternate arrangements, as it may be some
time before their power is restored.
ComEd also offers the following suggestions for customers experiencing a
oTurn off all appliances including your furnace, water heater, and water
oLeave a lamp on so you can know when power has been restored.
oKeep freezer and refrigerator doors closed and open them only when
necessary. Food will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded
freezer, if the door remains closed. A half-full freezer will generally
keep food frozen for 24 hours.
oCustomers who are on medical support equipment are strongly encouraged to
evacuate to a place where they can be comfortable and safe.
To report an outage,customers can call 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661), or
report it through the web site – ComEd.com.
Customers also can follow @ComEd on Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date on
the latest ComEd info.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon
Corporation (NYSE: EXC), one of the nation's largest electric utilities with
approximately 5.4 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately
3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's
Contact: Media, ComEd, +1-312-394-3500
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