Following a series of destructive thunderstorms that downed power lines and severely damaged electrical equipment, ComEd crews have restored service to more than 250,000 customers and are continuing work to restore an additional 219,000 customers who remain without power since Monday night.
Despite a massive restoration effort, damage to ComEd's system is so severe that many customers are likely to be out of service for multiple days.
"We greatly appreciate our customers' patience during this massive clean-up and restoration effort," ComEd Chairman and CEO Frank M. Clark said. "We recognize that an outage of any duration is an inconvenience to our customers, and we are using every available resource to restore service as quickly as possible to our customers."
ComEd continues to assess the damage from Monday night's storm. Broken poles, downed or snapped wires and trees that uprooted and fell on equipment are among the challenges that crews are facing. Before power can be restored, crews must clear trees from wires, replace poles and transformers and string miles of new wire. Downed trees, flooding and traffic problems also are impeding crews' access to electrical equipment.
ComEd is using every resource at its disposal, including additional reinforcement from other utilities. ComEd currently has more than 500 crews in the field, working 16-hour shifts, including 165 tree-trimming crews. ComEd also has deployed hundreds of patrollers and damage assessment coordinators in the field to assess the full extent of the damage to the system.
"As always, restoring power safely and quickly is our top priority," Clark said. "However, bringing all of our customers back to service will take several days. Our crews are performing incredibly well, but due to the destructive nature of these storms, we expect additional outages may occur as weakened trees and branches continue to come into contact with our power lines."
ComEd's emergency operations centers will remain open until all storm-related outages are restored and damage is repaired. At the peak of the storms, close to 200,000 ComEd customers were without power.