UPDATE: Power Restoration is 72 Percent to Goal

City of Elmhurst releases new numbers on Elmhurst power outage.

UPDATED 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 3

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the City of Elmhurst released the following statement:

"ComEd reported 72 percent of Elmhurst’s power has been restored as of 5 p.m., and 4,851 ComEd customers remain without power at this time. ComEd crews will continue to work around the clock and through the Fourth of July holiday in order to restore power to those remaining customers as soon as possible.

"City Hall will be closed in observance of the Fourth of July on Wednesday however City Public Works crews will continue to work through the holiday, removing trees and clearing streets. A reminder to residents disposing of spoiled food etc., garbage pickup will be delayed by one day this week due to the Wednesday holiday. The City and ComEd are working closely together to ensure that the City is fully operational in as timely a manner as possible. We thank you for your continued patience as clean-up efforts and power restoration efforts continue.


As we look forward to another 98-degree day, more than 6,000 ComEd customers in Elmhurst still are without power Tuesday morning, according to ComEd's outage map. That's down from 10,000 on Monday morning.

Elmhurst Public Library, City Hall, Elmhurst YMCA and a number of downtown businesses are still in the dark.

Power outages are widely scattered throughout the city, but ComEd crews have been seen around town since Monday working to restore the system. Most of the damage is due to lightning strikes and felled tree branches from

ComEd is reminding residents that Elmhurst was one of the hardest hit areas and full restoration could take another day or so. Restoration times listed in some areas of the city, including areas around Elmhurst College and near the Elmhurst YMCA, are listed as 11 p.m. Wednesday, July 4.

Residents also are frustrated with tree branch removal. On West Avenue, just south of St. Charles Road, very large tree branches still were blocking the roadway Tuesday morning.

Maureen Polte, who lives in that area, shared her "extreme frustration with ComEd."

"Almost two days later, and nothing," she said. "Our house is 86 degrees. It's unbearable and it hardly seems that ComEd is working hard for us over here."

Remember to check on elderly neighbors and others who may need assistance during this heat wave. For short-term cooling, the Elmhurst Police Department lobby is open, at 125 E. First St.  Benedictine University is a long-term cooling center for DuPage County, at 5700 College Road in Lisle. Call (630) 682-7925 or visit www.protectdupage.org for more information.

And please let us know how you're doing in the comments below.

Scr 390 July 03, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I suggest that all 5,800 Elmhurst customers huddle together in the Elmhurst Police Station lobby - let's see how cool it will get.
Tak_Bulgogi July 03, 2012 at 10:12 PM
From your keyboard to God's ears, Mr. Court! Your anecdote shows why a lot of the generator manufacturers install an auto shut-off if the generator runs low on oil (similar to a low oil idiot-light in most modern automobiles). The key is preparedness - buy some good flashlights, buy a generator, buy a gas can, store some non-perishable food, water, and extra batteries somewhere, get to know your neighbors/swap phone numbers, etc. There are lots of resources out there to help you plan for these types of nuisances. Kudos to the workers who are busting their rear ends. E-hurst got absolutely thrashed, so kudos to the workers who are wearing the equivalent of winter parkas while trying to get things back up.
concerned citizen July 03, 2012 at 11:23 PM
I was just in Michigan and they sent their extra crews to the East Coast leaving none to head here to Chicago. My neighbor working for Com Ed has had little sleep and the heat is impacting the work a lot. They truly are working as hard and as fast as they can. It is awful, but as said above, nature demands our attention and patience sometimes. Some packed up and headed north to escape the heat. I'm thinking that is a great idea!
MJB July 03, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Does anybody know why a helicopter keeps hovering over the prairie path at Vallette east of York road? Does it have something to do with the electricity being out?
bill trudeau July 04, 2012 at 12:27 AM
While driving through Villa Park today, I saw a "Village of Downers Grove" truck with a chipper on it working along Vermont just west of Addison road. Sounds like somebody had a plan for help.
Steven Bayne July 04, 2012 at 12:46 AM
I jog two and a half miles around N. Elmhurst. I saw no crews. I am not saying that they aren't in Elmhurst. I'm just saying I didn't see any over that distance. I am generally pleased with ComEd. In Connecticut it seemed like if it rained we lost electricity for a week! One other thing. The alternatives to ComEd in my opinion are not good. This is not a plug for these guys. But I've lived in many states and cities and the service is hard to complain about. Still, I saw no one.
Mar July 04, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Trimming trees may have helped but this storm caused trees, yes whole trees trunks roots and all to fall. I think the problem is the age of the trees and of course the severity of the storm, the trees can not take that kind of power.
Mar July 04, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Mar July 04, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Above: a good read.
Mar July 04, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Another good read! http://m.apnews.mobi/ap/db_6776/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=EAc3H76S
Mark D July 04, 2012 at 04:25 AM
I have been around Elmhurst picking up, relocating flags, working and sweating and I don't know why you don't see DiCianni. A tad remarkable. Was he at the joint review board meeting on the new, massive TIF #4 that seems to have been rolled out when many are on vacation or preparing for one? I haven't seen him in the news either, but that may be the result of not having enough power. Where is the Mayor? Can anyone report on what he has been doing to be proactive?
Darlene Heslop July 04, 2012 at 04:39 AM
he already held a press conference telling us he would resign as mayor if he was elected to the county board, mark...he's bulldozing that tif district through so i wouldn't expect him to want to listen to the rationale of the park district or the school board as to why perhaps things need to slow down to really assess the economic impact on the tax payers of this move by the city, since property values continue to decline...which is exactly the reason why you don't look at doing a tif at this time...however...if he doesn't...there won't be $$$ for the abbott group (the developer for the mariano's property)...they are the ones asking for the $1.25 million... .
Mark D July 04, 2012 at 05:35 AM
Darlene, I actually wasn't suggesting anything related to the County Board race. I have my beliefs there but I really wanted to know who was steering things. There is an emergency we are getting through and I wonder where Pete is. His predecessor would have been more apparent around town, particularly with the library down and a college and businesses unable to open. Soo... the inquiries are sincere.
Darlene Heslop July 04, 2012 at 06:46 AM
i didn't doubt that your inquiries were legit...you are right about the last mayor...i watched him move into city hall for 4 days after we had a severe outage a few years back (i live right behind city hall - he literally lived there for 4 days)...making sure he was updated and went out with the city crews, the police, the fire. also kept in touch with comed. sorry if it appeared as if i didn't take you seriously, i did, but since there is no rhyme or reason to why, i just tried to help in my own way... .
Hank July 04, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Stop bullshiting for ComEd. There is no excuse for ComEd for not restoring power in a timely manner. ComEd CEO should stay in Elmhurst for three nights without power. Now people can understand better why big corporations outsource jobs to foreign countries.
Kathleen Sullivan July 04, 2012 at 05:33 PM
3rd Ward Aldermen Bram & Polomsky are reporting that ComEd said 85% complete as of this morning - 2,518 customers still without power.
Floyd July 04, 2012 at 06:44 PM
just received call from emperor dicianni and he suggested the police dept as cooling center. brilliant idea; why not elmhurst hospital ; at least there is room for families to relax
Katie Marsico July 05, 2012 at 12:49 AM
I have to commend the last pair of ComEd reps I spoke to (one being a supervisor) who listened carefully, took notes, called dispatch, and (drum roll) admitted that ComEd hadn't been consistent in its explanations of the problem in my mom's area. We heard everything from "Crews are too busy to update the system" to "it's a downed limb on a wire--we're responsible for removing the branch" to "the limb's not our problem, and the branch on the wire isn't the problem either--it's the power grid." What I respected so much about the reps I dealt with late today was not that they could magically restore power. It was that--unlike so many ComEd workers I had dealt with--they didn't just give the patronizing, "It's tough all around--we're out working 24/7." Believe me, I totally commend the kind of dedication it takes to work with live wires in 100-degree heat on a holiday, and I am grateful. But I would also hope that maybe ComEd would simplify its workers' lives--as well as residents'--by taking the time to organize and communicate consistently, both internally and with customers (even in the context of a big, messy storm). At the end of the day, it was determined that the problem in this case likely could have been resolved much sooner, even considering the scope of outages. Kudos to workers who went the extra mile--even in the holiday heat. I am tremendously grateful. I simply wish that--based on my limited experiences--they were representative of more of the company.
Katie Marsico July 05, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I also must say that I have to commend how several of my mom's neighbors (in north Elmhurst) came together to help each other after the storm. Moving branches, keeping each other posted about ComEd visits/updates--really refreshing. After being inexcusably jerked around by ComEd about whether or not they could/should/wanted to remove my 70-year-old mom's downed limb (which snapped in spite of the fact that she pays to have her trees regularly trimmed), her neighbors showed up in her yard, sawed it apart, and hauled it out front. Amazing people who came together (in spite of their own outages/chaos at home) to help out a senior Elmhurst resident.
Katie Marsico July 05, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Jim, I wish more people were aware of some of the points you make--regarding removal of limbs on private property, etc. That way, it would be easier to call ComEd on some of its claims/promises, etc. when they insist they are going to take care of removal (which they acknowledge they did in my mom's case). Easier said than done I supposed, but it would be great to have a little bullet-point cheat sheet on the Web or in the newsletter from the city detailing what ComEd's basic policies/responsibilities are. It might cut down on confusion when we do have a massive outage, not to mention encourage people to do more regular trimming.
Joe O'Malley July 05, 2012 at 01:51 AM
No symbolism over substance here. Neighbors helping neighbors gets it done!
Katie Marsico July 05, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Joe, you said it! I can't adequately express how great it is to know that she's surrounded by people who watch out for her/lend a hand.
Darlene Heslop July 05, 2012 at 04:27 AM
i saw 3 comed trucks late this afternoon, around 5 pm on york road, and also saw 2 tree removal service trucks (private companies) on sidestreets getting rid of debris. also saw comcast truck this morning. these are first trucks i've seen. i hope that power is restored to those that have been waiting, but the outpouring of support from neighbors is really what makes a difference.
Dan July 05, 2012 at 04:55 AM
We counted over 40 trucks while we sat along 83 to watch fire works. No mater what one thinks about the company it would be nice if there was some way to thank the workers who have been out in the heat for the last few days. The hundreds of trucks and workers involved in restoring the power would make for a parade that is worth attending.
CHRIS July 05, 2012 at 05:36 AM
I agree. I have lived in Elmhurst since 1970. I have seen a lot of storms and power outages. It seems like in the past 5 years or so the power outages are more frequent and last longer. COM ED NEEDS TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND PERFORM THEIR JOB CORRECTLY!
CHRIS July 05, 2012 at 05:42 AM
I Agree. I also have had an AT&T cell phone for 10 years and never had any problems. Since the storm on sunday the phone keeps cutting out and has no signal. Cell towers may be down due to power outages. I guess we do not pay enough on our cell phone bills to allow for battery back up power at cell towers.
CHRIS July 05, 2012 at 05:48 AM
The problem is not with the Com Ed workers themselves. They are doing an excellent job! The problem is with the company itself (Exelon) and the c.e.o.'s sitting in the air conditioned office earning 300K a year that do not care about us as long as we pay our bill!
Katie Marsico July 05, 2012 at 12:09 PM
There is a gray area here. Yes, there were some awesome workers out, and they deserve our thanks. I couldn't do that job! I did thank and commend many of them, via phone and in-person in front of my home. But that should be a universal standard--for CEOs and field crews alike. If someone was a patient in a hospital, it wouldn't be acceptable if half the nurses and doctors were skilled and compassionate and communicative and the other half dropped the scalpel or couldn't empty a bed pan. I blame some of the CEOs, and I blame some of the crew who blatantly miscommunicated. If you don't know or aren't sure, just say so! Don't say, "Here's what the issue is--no, it's not--yes, it is---we don't know because we don't have time to enter notes in the system." The workers who did their job were/are life-savers, no doubt about it. And that goes for certain cust. service reps, too. But that shouldn't be 20 percent of the company. It is a difficult, dangerous job, but it is just that--a job. Not volunteer work. No one should blame them because they couldn't be everywhere at once or because they couldn't restore power to everyone within seconds. What they should be blamed for--and the supervisor I spoke to acknowledged this--is not communicating/operating in a clear, consistent manner (both internally and with customers). They're not all demons, and they're not all saints. ComEd has some great workers, but they could stand to do a helluva lot better (overall), too.
Katie Marsico July 05, 2012 at 01:09 PM
One final thought--and normally, I don't rant this much, lol, but I guess my brain is frying with the heat ;-) As I noted, my mom pays to have her trees trimmed. Yet I also know families (seniors especially) who would like to do the same but who can't afford it. I have even tried calling the number the city lists for senior assistance. I have never gotten a call back. Tree trimming is important, and I know (no thanks to Com Ed's info.) that it is not necessarily the electric company's problem. That said, however, I think it's easy to forget how hard it is for anyone on a limited income to tackle some of these responsibilities. I won't start sermonizing about how taxes make Elmhurst (though an awesome town) cost-prohibitive. I grasp that we (hypothetically) get what we pay for, and my kids have benefited time and again from the excellence of 205, the great parks, etc. BUT I would love it if, as Jim and others have suggested, a) there's more organized effort to be proactive about tackling issues (including electric, crime, etc.) on a preventative basis and b) if such efforts would include realistic measures for those residents who aren't of unlimited means. Perhaps that's a bit idealistic. Sadly, however, I know more than a few people who live here and are working their damnedest to stay here, but who have to prioritize between even the day-to-day expenses and who therefore would struggle to pay for some of the property work that others wouldn't think twice about doing.
Faust July 05, 2012 at 04:48 PM
YOu are reconsidering a move, because you lost a little bit of food? I think there are larger Concerns to put your time and energy in to.


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