Chicago, February 3, 2011 — In the wake of one of the most massive snow storms on record, ComEd crews have restored power for more than 177,000 affected customers, with electric service expected to be restored for the vast majority of those remaining by mid-day Thursday.
The blizzard that swept through northern Illinois severely impacted the ComEd electric system, ripping down power lines and damaging other equipment. Working round-the-clock, ComEd crews continue to battle icy roads, deep snow and road closures to repair the damage and restore power.
As of 10 p.m., 12,000 customers were remaining without power, about 8,600 in the Chicago, the hardest-hit area within the ComEd service territory.
"Our crews were out in full force, working around the clock amid treacherous weather conditions," said Anne Pramaggiore, president and chief operating officer, ComEd. "We had more than 300 crews in the field most of the day, along with contractor crews from Wisconsin. I want to commend all them for their efforts to restore customers as quickly and safely as possible against tough working conditions.
"This same sentiment goes to all the other workers who have been taken away from their families in the effort to restore power, clear roads and keep the public safe during this hazardous storm," Pramaggiore added.
ComEd began preparation efforts in advance of the storm, including the following:
* Opening the Emergency Operations Center and all regional offices to effectively manage restoration effort
* Preparing lodging and food accommodations for personnel working the storm in order to limit the amount of driving necessary in the blizzard conditions
* Canceling previously scheduled maintenance work
* Testing equipment such as generators to ensure they were ready if needed.
* Conducting winter prep inspections on ComEd trucks
* Conducting advanced outreach to towing contractors for priority status if needed
* Preparing detailed snow-plowing plans for key facilities to ensure safe and easy access for working crews
* Ensuring availability of adequate quantities of material
* Preparing detailed staffing plans to ensure field crews were in place to ensure optimal coverage
* Conducting outreach to contractors to put them on notice for assistance
* Beefing up staffing for the call center.
Commonwealth Edison Co. is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corp., one of the nation's largest electric utilities with about 5.4 million customers. ComEd provides service to about 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.