ComEd has restored power to 95 percent of homes following Monday's fast-moving storm that left a near-record 850,000 in the dark.
The remaining 35,000 customers still needing power should be back on the grid by Friday night, according to ComEd chairman and CEO Frank M. Clark.
Since the storm, the utility replaced nearly 50 miles of downed wire and almost 300 poles. More than 850 crews, some from neighboring states, worked to restore 807,000 customers by 11 p.m. Thursday.
Tensions were high throughout the week as residents searched for generators amid hot, humid temperatures and repeatedly called ComEd for an estimated time when their lights and air conditioners would be back up and running.
Clark said it won't be long now.
“We understand that patience can be challenging particularly for those customers who are still without power,” Clark said in a statement. “We are using all the resources available to us, including crews from more than a dozen states, allowing us to restore service faster than any time in the last decade.”
Earlier this week, Lake County declared a state of emergency and asked for Illinois assistance to clean up damage from the storm.
It may take more than a month to clean up the mess in Gurnee, and all of that work will have to be paid with money not budgeted for such a project, the village's administrator said Thursday.
"Every inch of the 13.5 square miles of this village is covered with limbs and brush," said Gurnee's Jim Hayner. "It's everywhere."