ComEd has already restored service to 80 percent of customers affected by Monday's fast-moving storms.
ComEd is now entering the most difficult, labor-intensive part of the storm restoration in the hardest-hit south suburbs. The utility is mobilizing significant resources and expects to restore all remaining customers by Wednesday night, with a possible exception for a few pockets in the most heavily-damaged south suburban communities. Restoration times could be impacted if additional storms occur.
ComEd currently estimates that nearly 270,000 customers have been affected by a storm that brought more than 6,000 lightning strokes and strong winds in excess of 75 mph through ComEd's service territory, causing widespread damage and bringing down power lines and trees. More than 216,000 customers have been restored, and about 54,000 remain out of service. ComEd currently has approximately 500 utility and contractor crews working to restore service to our customers as quickly and safely as possible.
"We increased our staffing levels and have shifted crews to restore power in the hardest-hit areas in the south suburbs," said Terence R. Donnelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer for ComEd. "We recognize that power outages disrupt the lives and businesses of our customers, and we are doing all we can to restore service as quickly and safely as possible. ComEd appreciates our customers' patience as we work to restore power."
ComEd's restoration process begins immediately with damage assessment to determine hardest-hit areas and factor it into restoration times. ComEd works with municipal officials to prioritize outage restoration to customers that ensure public safety, such as police and fire, then hospitals and other critical customers such as pumping stations. Next, ComEd restores feeders, which allows the company to return power to the largest numbers of customers at one time, followed by smaller service restorations and individual outages.
ComEd remains focused on enhancing its storm response efforts. Since 2011 when the worst storms in ComEd history struck Northern Illinois, the company formed a storm improvement taskforce and implemented approximately 60 enhancements that helped provide a significant improvement in storm restoration times in major storms last summer. For example, ComEd added: more first responders; a state-of-the-art mobile command center to deploy to hardest-hit areas; and customer service enhancements such as the interactive online outage map, mobile application for smart phones, mobile-enabled website, and two-way text messaging.