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ComEd Releases the Last Word on Last Week's Outages: Everybody's Up and Running [POLL]

Take our poll: Do you think ComEd is better-equipped now to handle outages?

ComEd released a statement early Friday, July 6, announcing it had completed restoration of power to all customers affected the that caused significant wind damage to many west suburban communities.

"The massive restoration effort took the work of more than 2,000 ComEd employees and other utility workers and contractors from a dozen states working around the clock," according to a statement.

ComEd put some new tools into play, including new communications and operations technology, enhanced processes and procedures, additional field personnel and more customer outreach. More than 400 customer service representatives handled more than a half-million calls, and customers were able to use two-way text messaging to report outages and receive updates.

Regional task force teams and mobile command centers were established, and personnel went door to door in some areas, meeting with affected customers.

"All of these efforts are among more than 60 enhancements ComEd’s newly created Storm Task Force put in place last year, after one of the worst storm seasons in the company’s history," the statement reads.

The most recent restoration efforts were hampered by , which was recorded at more than 100 degrees during much of the time the work was being completed.

"Getting power restored to our customers has been our top priority over the last five days, ComEd President and CEO Anne Pramaggiore said in the statement. "We want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we worked to bring their power back."

Jim R July 07, 2012 at 12:55 PM
The workers did a tremendous job, but would be assisted by more workers and less high paid management jobs being replaced by those who do the work. More underground wires need to be put in place especially where there are many trees. More tree trimming needs to be done to protect the wires in case of emergency. Bonuses for upper management should be dropped and used as pay for those who do the work. Again the workers should be commended the criticism has more to do with not sufficient proactive tasks being done by management, and overpaid top management.
slpanda2 July 07, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Jim, I agree. The workers we had were wonderful. Working all day in the heat to remove a tree from a power line, replaced the split pole and reattaching the power lines. They came back to make sure we were back in service. They did not even take a lunch. These guys were doing all of this because ComEd did not learn from last year when we were out twice for several days. They need to put wires underground, and more tree trimming. We are very thankful for the guys out their doing the work to get us back in service, but come on ComEd, you need to upgrade before this happens again over and over.
Doremus Jessup July 07, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Step 1) Form Elmhurst Municipal Electric Company Step 2) Build roof over local quarry with solar panels. Step 3) Have 3 tiers inside quarry that hold water Step 4) have water turbines at each tier. Step 5) Pump some water high during day to manage solar/hydro electric generation(85 % efficient). Step 6) Build natural gas electric generation plant( the most clean/efficient modern tech can achieve). Step 7) Buy or take utility polls through eminent domain from Com Ed. Step 8) Have our own generation/supplier abilities owned, operated and used by local citizens. Step 9) Be vigilant in adding solar, wind, and becoming energy efficient through better lighting and more efficient appliances. Step 10) Enjoy the safety, convenience, savings, and the stability the previous steps would allow our residents and industry. P.S. before anyone actually posts against these steps please do some research on the subject, I'll give two examples: Springfield,IL and Wakefield,MA both operate their own municipal electric companies, if it is good enough for them I believe it is good enough for us.
marilyn v July 07, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Mare: Yes the guys did a great job worked hard in the heat, my husband worked at Com Ed and did that work so I know what they go through 19 hours on & 8 hours sleep,Thumbs up to all you hard workers.
marilyn v July 07, 2012 at 02:50 PM
The crews cannot work with the trees hanging on the wires,so the trees have to be removed first. And we have a lot of trees. Now how long for pick up.
Wendy July 07, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I lived in Naperville for 7 years and never lost power for more than a 5 minute blip during the hardest of summer or winter storms. I have lived in Elmhurst for 2 years and have lost powere more than 5 times for more than 2 days each time..... in one instance my basement flooded and lost everything...... the storms in 2010, 2011, and 2012 have all caused major issues for the Utilities and City of Elmhurst. What is the root cause and corrective actions? What is going to be different going forward?
marilyn v July 07, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Elmhurst has been againest cutting down trees for many years . It would be nice if we can all have underground wireing. So sorry for your outage and flooding in your basement.
Jim R July 07, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Seems there may be some financial problems in Springfield, so there would be many questions especially now about the government taking control. If they cannot control the response of a public utilty what makes you think they could manage the whole thing themselvs. http://illinois.municipalbonds.com/bonds/moodys_report/17829/
Sally July 07, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Yes, good job overall but i have friends whose power went out this am again at 7:00- still not on, they live on highview, n or north ave
Doremus Jessup July 07, 2012 at 05:21 PM
This chart goes a long way to make me think they can manage the whole thing themselves. https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/461097_353685128006905_825846130_o.jpg
Dave July 07, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Wendy, you have hit the nail on the head. Elmhurst has a significantly greater problem with power outages than surrounding communities. There was an article in either the Sun-Times or Tribune within the last year that listed the average number of days per year without power in municipalities in the Chicago metro area, and as I recall Elmhurst had significantly more days without power than nearby communities (such as Berkeley) that also have above-ground distribution systems. Obviously the most recent storm was an extreme and unusual event with its own specific issues, but why is it that Elmhurst consistently has more frequent power problems than many of our neighbors? I have never really seen an explanation for that, and there has to be one. Can't just be trees (or can it?).
North Side July 07, 2012 at 06:13 PM
when wide spread damage occurs, how the hell do some people think that they will have their power back on in an instant? I just don't get the logic...I do agree that the trees MUST get trimmed more efficiently, but honestly people...I personally feel that ComEd did their best that they could with the damage that was done...I feel for those that were without power for a while, my neck of Elmhurst wasn't up and running until the night of the 3rd so I sweated with the bulk of you all as well...they did their jobs and did it well and withing reason with what happened...I even bought the crew near my house pizza, gatorade and water :)
Darlene Heslop July 07, 2012 at 09:27 PM
i think that the crews did a phenomenal job...there were tree trimming companies that came to help. the system is out dated and needs to be upgraded, however, comed has already stated that due to the number of cities going to aggregation, possibly including the city of chicago, it may not have the funds to do it.
Independence666 July 08, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Short of burying all of the power lines, I don't know what more ComEd could do to prevent these kinds of outages. Yes it was frustrating, but based on the level of damage done by this storm, I believe they did the best they could to restore power as quickly as possible.
julie mladic July 08, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I agree with Jim. The workers had to put up with extreme heat in addition to putting in all the extra hours. Thanks to all of them. We need more underground wires,and tree trimming.

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