ComEd has restored power to more than 625,000 families and businesses, or nearly 80 percent of the customers affected by the derecho that slammed northern Illinois on Monday afternoon causing significant damage across the entire region. The storm brought hurricane force winds with gusts higher than 90 miles per hour, extensive lighting, golf ball-sized hail and seven confirmed tornados. About 171,000 customers remain without power.
More than 1,900 ComEd employees and contractors have been working around the clock since Monday afternoon to restore power to customers quickly and safely. More than 1,400 additional mutual assistance workers began arriving from across the country today to join the restoration effort.
In spite of the extensive damage caused by the tornados and derecho, ComEd restored power to 540,000 customers within a day, the fastest restoration of 500,000 customers in the company’s history. This is due in large part to the smart grid investments ComEd has made since 2012, including in technologies that automatically detect outages and reroute power around problem areas, avoiding significant outages that otherwise would have occurred.
“As we saw from fallen trees that crushed cars and homes, the derecho with multiple tornados was a rare and destructive storm,” said Joe Dominguez, CEO of ComEd. “We’re grateful to municipal leaders and other first responders for their partnership as we work with them to clear roads and debris so that we can safely restore power to affected areas. Especially in a pandemic, our customers are dependent on reliable power at home, and we appreciate the 6,000 women and men of ComEd and the crews that traveled hundreds of miles here to help get the power flowing for families and businesses as fast as possible.”
Restoration efforts are ahead of schedule, and ComEd now expects to restore power to over 95 percent of customers by Friday night, with nearly 80 percent of customers already restored. Hundreds of additional customers are being restored each hour, but outages in areas where tornados or other intense storm events occurred could take longer to restore.
In the city of Chicago, which had some of the highest concentrations of customer outages, ComEd has restored service to 121,000 of the more than 144,000 customers who lost power.
ComEd offers the following tips and information for customers to stay safe following severe weather:
If you encounter a downed power line, immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661) or go to ComEd.com to report the location. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
Never approach a downed power line. Always assume a power line is energized and extremely dangerous.
- In the event of an outage, do not approach ComEd crews working to restore power to ask about restoration times. Crews may be working on live electrical equipment and the perimeter of the work zone may be hazardous.
ComEd urges customers to contact the company immediately if they experience a power outage. Customers can text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report an outage and receive restoration information, and can follow the company on Twitter @ComEd or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ComEd. Customers can also call 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661), or report outages via the website at www.ComEd.com/report. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
ComEd has introduced a mobile app for iPhone and Android® smart phones that gives customers the ability to report power outages and manage their accounts; download the app at www.ComEd.com/app.
ComEd has an interactive outage map on its website at www.ComEd.com/map, which allows customers to easily find information on the location and size of outages and get estimated power restoration times.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 100 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.