After 48 hours over 1,000 still without power in Oak Park and River Forest

During the evening number of customers without power doubles, River Forest sees power slowly restored


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By Staff Archive

Forty-eight hours after a severe storm swept over the area Sunday afternoon over 1,000 are still without power in Oak Park and River Forest. As of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday ComEd reported 797 customers without power in Oak Park and 233 in River Forest.

For Oak Park it represents a significant drop from a high of 3,263 without power at 12:30 a.m.

Efforts to restore power in Oak Park Monday night were one step forwards, two steps back. At of 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning ComEd is reporting 3,263 customers without power in Oak Park, more than double the number it previously reported at 9:30 p.m. Monday night when the number had declined to its lowest point of the day at 1,504.

The number of customers without power in River Forest continues to decline, and was 298 early Tuesday morning, down from 1,383 Monday night. Earlier Monday those numbers reached a high point of 1,809 in River Forest and what had previously been the high point of 1,743 customers in Oak Park.

In sharp contrast to Oak Park and River Forest where thousands remain without power, neighboring Forest Park has just six customers without power. For more information visit ComEd's outage map here.

At 10:40 p.m. Dominican University tweeted that power had been restored to its main campus. Power was still out at the Priory campus several blocks away, but classes at the main campus will be held July 3.

Sunday afternoon's severe storm that trounced the villages left thousands without power Monday when temperatures reached past 100 degrees. Dominican University, Concordia University and the main branch of the Oak Park Public Library all closed Monday due to the power outages.

The majority of damage from Sunday's storm occurred south of Lake Street in Oak Park, according to Village Communications Director David Powers, who said crews were on the scene from 2 till 8 p.m., assessing damage around the village.

Powers said no complete trees were uprooted, though some were split in half, particularly in the 600 block of South Scoville where there is expected to be "significant tree loss." He said winds in Oak Park hit 82 mph, according to an gauge at Lake and Lombard.

All streets were open by the end of Sunday. The exception was Garfield between Lombard and Harvey which was closed to accommodate a large portable generator being used to keep the south water pumping station powered. That station is tied to the water reservoir under the Barrie Park tennis courts at that site.

Notable residential and commercial power outages remain in south Oak Park and in River Forest, according to the ComEd website on Monday morning.

The main branch of the Oak Park Public Library on Lake Street is closed since it doesn't have power; the other two branches are open but do not have Internet because the system is connected to the main library.

A portion of River Forest was without power Monday. The most affected areas were west from Lathrop Avenue to Thatcher Avenue, and from Madison Street to North Avenue, according to the village website. As of about 3:30 p.m., electrical service had been restored to a large portion of that area, though scattered outages remained.

The site said ComEd crews were on scene Monday afternoon at several locations but there is no estimate of when power in other affected areas might be restored.

Evening classes at Dominican University were cancelled and the Crown Library will remain closed Monday evening. The only exception, according to a statement on the school's website, is LIS 776, which will be held as scheduled at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. The power outage at Dominican cancelled daytime classes as well.

Concordia University, 7400 Augusta Street, was without power and closed classes for the entire day Monday, as well as office operations and scheduled events, according to the university's website.

District 90's summer school classes were also cancelled because the power was out at Lincoln and Willard elementary schools, its website said.

Powers said most of the limbs were brushed to the side of streets, but public works crews will likely be working the rest of the week on cleanup efforts.

He said it's important for residents to remember that tree debris is not supposed to be dragged to the curb. Residents should still use the yard waste program and package up whatever can be. Larger debris will be collected by a private company. Failing to follow these procedures, he said, will slow up the village's efforts to get public parkways cleared.

Public tree limbs that have fallen onto private property can be cleaned up by the village and residents can call the Public Works Department, 708-358-5700, for assistance.

Reader Comments

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Tom from River Forest  

Posted: July 3rd, 2012 10:35 AM

mike from com ed: Included in every rate increase request from Com Ed is a 10% return on investment. If Com Ed is blameless here, why do the same transformers fail every year and why does it always take 4 days to get them back on line? Apparently Com Ed also exists in world where its transformers are made of paper and glue.

Alex Jacobs from River Forest  

Posted: July 3rd, 2012 10:01 AM

Power restored at 9:38 pm last night. Threw out more than $300 worth of food. Never a substantive communication from Com Ed.

mike from op  

Posted: July 3rd, 2012 8:23 AM

Com Ed has 320 teams working 16 on 8 off until the power is restored. As for the equipment and the infrastructure, everytime they ask for an increse in revenue to do these projects the ICC cuts it in half. Apparently ComEd exisists in a magical world where costs never go up and replacement equipment is free.


Posted: July 3rd, 2012 7:59 AM

So why was power going out late yesterday afternoon? And even without storms, on hot days, our building's transformer can blow because ComEd won't upgrade the equipment.

epic lulz  

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 8:16 PM

@Jakob, add to your comments that the outages of millions in OH, WV, VA, and MD have pulled all the idle repair crews from the rest of the US (some perhaps even from ComEd before the Sunday storm), we here in the Chicago area have little to complain about. Of course that won't stop anyone.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 5:19 PM

Jakob Eriksson, when something like a wind storm happens, that is something that is something that can't be blamed on ComEd, and they work very quickly for the amount of work that needs to be done. What they don't do is do whatever is needed during regular operating day's that causes people to have their power go off. That may be an overload to a station and they switch off, but they could invest into their customers demand and get it taken care of.

Jakob Eriksson  

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 5:02 PM

Not sure it's fair to blame ComEd's infrastructure when a giant tree falls over their power lines. Unless, that is, we are now campaigning for underground power lines? :-) Also, with 100,000 households affected, if we figure 100 households per downed tree, that's 1000 trees. Say (optimistically) a team spends 1 hour per repair, and works 10 hour days. That's 100 team-days of work. Even if ComEd had 100 teams on stand-by in the area (hardly!) it'd take a solid day to get every light back on.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 3:31 PM

R. Lopez, that has been a problem with ComEd for years, and a resident started to take count several years ago how many times it happens. It's obvious ComEd doesn't want to resolve the issue or the problem. I would say it's more of a problem then issue. What it would take is money to fix the problem and ComEd doesn't want to spend the money.

R. Lopez  

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 2:46 PM

I haved lived in OP for 2 years and have had 4 major outages and come home often in the summer to flashing appliance clocks. What is the story? They need to seriously inspect and update their infrastructure. This sucks!

Alex Jacobs from River Forest  

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 2:44 PM

When will ComEd start restoration of power to River Forest & Oak Park? No Estimate of damage, no eta for restoration. It is not like this is a once-in-a-lifetime event, folks.

Dan from Oak Park  

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 2:03 PM

I checked the storm outage map; ComEd seems to think only 5 customers are out in north Oak Park (LeMoyne Parkway). From what I can tell, all houses on the north side of LeMoyne Pkwy, from Harvey or Ridgeland to Austin, are out. Way more than five residents..... I wonder if the overall number of people out is much bigger than ComEd has been estimating.

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 1:05 PM

@Jon: LOL--Aargh!!!! I saw the "don't worry" and was hoping the lights were on. I have contacted ComEd about my situation because we have had so many outages that it's not even funny. Even without storms I'll come home and the lights are out.

Jon Marcus  

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 12:09 PM

@ Violet Aura: Don't worry! ComEd will have a restoration estimate in 6 hours...err, make that 24 hours...err, make that 24 to 36 hours...err, make that "crews are working on that." See? Nothing to worry about!

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 12:01 PM

RF checking in. Power out. I wonder how long it will take this time? In 2010 it was out for days!

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