CHICAGO, June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ComEd is well on its way to closing out power outages caused by Monday's derecho, with more than 95 percent of affected customers having been restored. The restoration pace is progressing ahead of similar storms in the past. However, a new storm system has caused additional outages, particularly in the north suburbs.
The utility estimates that 300,000 customers have been affected by the derecho. There are currently 600 utility and contractor crews working to restore service to approximately 10,000 customers who remain without power. The utility expects to restore all remaining customers affected by Monday's storm by tonight, 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 later today.
The derecho brought more than 6,000 lightning strikes and strong winds in excess of 75 mph through ComEd's service territory, causing widespread damage and bringing down power lines and trees.
"The derecho that hit our service territory on Monday is consistent with the severe weather we have experienced in the last few years in terms of intensity," said Terence R. Donnelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer for ComEd. "However, enhancements in our storm response processes are making it possible to improve our ability to quickly restore customers affected by these storms."
ComEd's restoration process begins 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 urges customers to contact the utility immediately if they are experiencing a power outage. Customers can text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report their outage and receive restoration information.
ComEd also introduced a mobile app for iPhone and Android® smart phones that gives customers the ability to report power outages and manage their accounts. In addition, customers can report outages through the website at ComEd.com or on ComEd's Facebook page at Facebook.com/ComEd or by calling 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661). Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
For outage updates, customers can access ComEd's mobile-enabled, interactive outage map now available at ComEd.com/map. The color-coded map allows customers to easily find information on the location and size of outages, get estimated power restoration times and crew locations. Information is updated every 30 minutes. Customers also can follow the company on Twitter @ComEd or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ComEd to stay up-to-date on the latest ComEd storm restoration information.
Public safety is paramount during storms and ComEd encourages the public to remember to take the following precautions:
- If you encounter a downed power line, immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661) or access our website at ComEd.com and report the location. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237). Never approach a downed power line. Always assume a power line is energized and extremely dangerous.
- Check on elderly and other sensitive family members and neighbors to ensure their safety and make alternate arrangements, as it may be some time before their power is restored.
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.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.