ELMHURST — Hundreds of thousands are still without power Tuesday after powerful storms Monday night, while ComEd says it could take days for power to be fully restored.
The Lombard commons is among the hardest-hit areas in the suburban village, where crews spent all Tuesday cleaning up downed trees in the streets.
But the real problem is the power outages, which ComEd says are going to take a lot longer because in many cases, crews are actually having to repair towers and other infrastructure that were damaged in the storm.
ComEd’s Vice President of External Affairs Rich Negren said at the height of the storm there were 800,000 people without power, with the most outages in Cook and Will counties. Close to 550,000 have been restored as of Tuesday evening, but the rest is going to take some time.
Tony Scola said he’s frustrated his car repair shop, Carstar Scola’s Collision Center, has been without power since the storm moved through southwest suburban Brookfield Monday. Without power they can’t operate any of their tools, he said.
“I just sent a whole crew of 14 guys home, we’re kind out all out work, we can’t really do much unless we have power,” Scola said. “Our business here generates around $10,000 a day worth of business, without that that really hurts us.”
Negren said the storm has caused “real structural damage.”
“This isn’t just a repair job where ComEd is showing up and reconnecting wires in some instances, because of the damage to the extent it’s actually a rebuild. We’re actually kind of rebuilding the infrastructure that was damaged as a result of the storm,” Negren said.
He says comed is prioritizing critical public safety needs such as hospitals and senior centers.
“This is a multi-day event; it’s not going to be fixed overnight. It’s not going to be fixed over the next day or so, this level of extent is going to require some support and some patience from all of our customers,” Negren said.
ComEd says it has 800 crews working around the clock. another 1400 are headed here from the east coast. that being said. some customers are being told it could be Saturday before power is restored.