Thousands remain without power after storm
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO AND MICHAEL LANSU Staff Reporters July 12, 2011 12:26PM
Updated: July 13, 2011 2:13AM
Paul Duplessis sat on his front porch Tuesday, watching one ComEd truck after another rumble down his Summit street without stopping to restore electricity to his home.
And as the day stretched on, Duplessis — who is diabetic — wondered what would happen to his insulin supply as the ice began to melt in his refrigerator.
“It’s rough with this heat,” said Duplessis, 61. “I ain’t going to say [ComEd] ain’t doing nothing, but they sure ain’t doing it here. I was sitting out here all last night because I couldn’t take the heat.”
A day after hurricane-force winds tore across the Chicago area, less than one third of the nearly 870,000 homes and businesses that lost power remained in the dark Tuesday evening, leaving many frustrated, hot and anxious.
ComEd officials sought to reassure customers that they are doing everything possible to restore power, including bringing in crews from as far away as Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
“We are working around the clock to get them restored as quickly and as safely as possible,” said ComEd spokesman Tony Hernandez.
The lights were expected to be back on in the vast majority of homes by Saturday, ComEd officials said.
As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, the worst-hit area remained the northern suburbs, with about 144,000 customers without power. In the city, some 30,000 were waiting for service to be restored. In the south suburbs, 13,000, and in the western suburbs, 49,000 remained without electricity. Overall, 235,000 customers were powerless.
The storm claimed the life of Daniel Toro, 72, of the 800 block of North Francisco, when a tree fell on his car in Douglas Park, according to the medical examiner’s office. Meanwhile, a 6-year-old Winnetka girl who fractured her skull and broke several vertebrae when a neighbor’s tree came down on top of her during the storm was recovering well, the girl’s grandmother said Tuesday night.
Lexie Tingle was at Children’s Memorial Hospital Tuesday, said her grandmother, Barbara Tingle.
“She is conscious and talking,” she said.
Cooler weather is expected for the remainder of the week. To get updates about power outages in your area, call 1-800-EDISON-1 or log on to comed.com.