ComEd announced that it has restored power to virtually all of the 850,000 customers who were affected by one of the most severe storms the company has faced in recent history.
The company set an aggressive goal to restore all customers by midnight Friday. However, there remain individual isolated outages in some heavily damaged pockets that will require more time to restore than initially expected. These outages will be restored throughout the day on Saturday.
"We came very close to reaching our goal of restoring all customers on Friday – reaching the 99 percent mark," said Frank M. Clark, chairman and chief executive officer of ComEd. "We worked tirelessly this week to restore service to our customers as quickly and safely as we could and we will continue to work around the clock until the very last customer has been restored."
"I fully understand and appreciate how difficult this has become for our customers," Clark said. "For some of them we did not meet their expectations. We are continuously striving for ways to improve."
Earlier this week, ComEd targeted restoring 75 percent of customers by midnight Wednesday and 95 percent by midnight on Thursday. With a combined force of ComEd crews and crews from around the country, representing 14 states, the company met those goals ahead of schedule.
"ComEd has done a terrific job restoring customers who lost power after one of the most devastating storms on record, which unleashed damage comparable to what coastal utilities face in the wake of a violent hurricane," said Tom Kuhn, president of the Washington-based Edison Electric Institute. "They may have set an industry standard in terms of the amount of dedicated resources and swiftness of their response."
The company deployed more resources than at any other time in its history after Mother Nature unleashed a fury of heavy rain, 18,000 lightning strikes and wind gusts of 80 mph. The storm toppled trees, snapped hundreds of utility poles and brought down miles of power lines. For storms in other areas of the country with comparable wind speed and customer impact, restoration has ranged from seven to 10 days.
With ComEd crews, out of state utility workers, emergency response personnel, customer service reps and other support personnel, the cost of this massive effort will top $80 million, nearly twice the company's annual storm budget.
Crews from around the country collectively traveled more than 8,000 miles to assist ComEd with its restoration effort. Dedicated field personnel worked around the clock since Monday morning to bring customers back to service as quickly and safely as possible. More than 5,000 ComEd employees and other personnel are contributing to the massive restoration effort.
ComEd has replaced more than 350,000 feet of wire and cable, nearly 400 poles and 200 transformers and those numbers continue to grow. The company's call center managed more than one million calls in five days.
"We want to thank customers for their patience during this extremely challenging period – many of whom were experiencing a storm-related outage for the second time in less than a month," said Anne R. Pramaggiore, ComEd president and chief operating officer. "We'd also like to thank our crews, customer service reps and other support personnel as well as those who traveled from around the country for undertaking the massive effort that was required to restore service to our customers."