More than a day after what a ComEd spokesman called one of the worst storms to hit the area in more than a decade, more than 360,000 customers were without power Tuesday in northern Illinois, including many in Brookfield, North Riverside and Riverside.
And while more than a half million customers have had their power restored since the powerful storm blew through the area at about 8:15 a.m. on July 11, it could take days before power is fully restored.
“We have 900 crews in the field working around the clock to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible,” said ComEd spokesman Tony Hernandez on Tuesday morning.
Hernandez said ComEd has enlisted the help of crews from Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan to work alongside the company’s own employees to get power restored. Members of the company’s external affairs team have scheduled twice-daily conference calls with municipal officials to keep them updated on the progress.
As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, power was still out to government offices at the North Riverside Village Commons building on Desplaines Avenue, and many customers were still without power in Brookfield, where the storm hit hardest. Particularly south of the railroad tracks, winds reported to be as high as 75 mph, splintered tree limbs and sent them crashing onto buildings and vehicles.
Brookfield has turned the lower level of its village hall at 8820 Brookfield Ave. into a cooling center. In Riverside, those seeking relief from the heat can visit the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“This is going to be if not the biggest then one of the two or three biggest storms to hit the area since 1998, when ComEd started collecting customer information,” said Hernandez. “It wasn’t a long storm, but it caused a lot of damage to our power lines and equipment.”
– Bob Uphues