ComEd Prepares for High Winds and Braces for Strongest Storm in Decades

Oct 25, 2010, 23:25 ET from ComEd

CHICAGO, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- ComEd is preparing for extreme winds of up to 55 mph which are forecasted to begin early Tuesday and last through Wednesday. The impact of these powerful winds could result in outages across ComEd's northern Illinois service territory.

In preparation for the high winds and its potential impact to the electrical system, ComEd is taking the following measures to protect its electrical distribution system:

  • Opening the company's emergency operations center and regional storm centers.
  • Scheduling extra work crews.
  • Enhancing call center staffing.
  • Adjusting staffing to enable rapid mobilization of crews when needed. Call center employees, field personnel, tree-trimmers and power line patrollers all have been put on alert.

"While we can't prevent outages during such intense weather, our crews are mobilized and prepared to work around the clock to restore power as safely and quickly as possible,"  said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd President and COO.

In addition to crews, ComEd will have its external affairs team available to assist communities that may be experiencing outages.

Public safety is paramount.

  • Extreme weather can create unsafe conditions that could delay restoration efforts.  ComEd crews will be mobilized to begin restoration work once weather conditions are deemed safe.
  • Anyone encountering a downed power line is urged to immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661) and report the location. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
  • Never approach a downed power line. Always presume 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.
  • For updates on the storm restoration process, please go to

ComEd also offers the following suggestions for customers experiencing a prolonged outage:

  • Turn off all appliances including your furnace, water heater, and water pump.
  • Leave a lamp on so you can know when power has been restored.
  • Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed and open them only when necessary. Food will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer, if the door remains closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.
  • Customers who are on medical support equipment are strongly encouraged to evacuate to a place where they can be comfortable and safe.

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), one of the nation's largest electric utilities with approximately 5.4 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.