ComEd has restored power to more than 695,000 families and businesses, or more than 90 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 lightning, golf ball-sized hail and 10 confirmed tornados in communities that ComEd serves. About 66,000 customers remain without power.
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ComEd worker repairs damage from Monday's derecho. (Photo: Business Wire)
ComEd’s focus is on areas with significant devastation. Following the storms, some communities saw block-long lines of poles and wires down, transmission towers that were blown onto distribution lines and decades-old trees that toppled into electrical equipment.
“This was a storm of historical proportion, both meteorologically and in its impact on our system,” said Terry Donnelly, president and COO of ComEd. “In many hard-hit areas, we are not repairing the system, we’re rebuilding it. There are instances where the damage would take weeks to repair under normal circumstances. We’re getting it done in days. Our redoubled efforts have reduced the amount of time our customers are out of 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. Additionally, More than 1,400 mutual assistance workers from across the country are assisting with the restoration effort.
ComEd is on target to restore power to over 95 percent of customers by Friday night. Hundreds of additional customers are being restored each hour, but outages in areas where tornados or other intense storm events occurred may take longer to restore.
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. These technologies helped avoid more than 700,000 additional interruptions from the storm.
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.