Crews Complete Restoration of ComEd Customers Affected by Blizzard
ComEd prepared to answer this weekend’s winter weather
Following Sunday’s severe snow and ice storm, which knocked out power to more than 340,000 customers across ComEd’s 11,000-square-mile service area, ComEd has now restored power to all customers initially impacted by the storm. In addition, crews will be working all weekend, ready to respond to new forecasted storms and any subsequent interruptions.
Sunday’s storm was unusual both in terms of intensity and reach. As it neared northern Illinois, the storm intensified beyond initial forecasts. The result was up to 13 inches of wet, heavy snow and ice that took down poles and wires, and toppled trees and branches onto ComEd equipment. Meanwhile the entire territory experienced wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour Sunday night into Monday morning.
This weekend, a new storm is expected to approach the area, bringing increased winds and rain starting Saturday that could turn to snow Sunday night. Additional crews are already being assigned and will be available in the coming days should there be additional outages caused by this weekend’s storm.
Today, the last of customers initially impacted by Sunday’s storm were returned to service, thanks in part to the nearly 1,200 employees of ComEd and 1,500 additional crews from its East Coast sister utilities and surrounding states, including Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Kentucky.
As a result of these efforts, ComEd restored service to over 250,000 families and businesses within 24 hours of losing their power.
“This was the fastest we have restored service for a storm with this combination of heavy snow, ice and high winds,” said Terence R. Donnelly, president and chief operating officer, ComEd. “I am proud of the men and women who battled through the freezing temperatures to restore power. However, I am disappointed that our computer system experienced delays that prevented our customers from getting timely information on the restoration effort. While power was restored quickly, our customers need to know the status of our restoration efforts and are rightfully frustrated when our systems don’t provide that information. I want to thank our customers for their patience, and I commit that we will work with our IT vendors to fix what went wrong so that it never happens again.”
When restoring customers, ComEd focuses first on critical services, such as first responders, hospitals and senior centers. The company then prioritizes work that will restore the greatest number of customers at a time.