Arcing Power Line Strands Family

By Lauren Jiggetts and Lisa Balde
|  Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011  |  Updated 5:41 PM CDT
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At least two families in the northwest suburbs felt stuck in their homes after power lines were brought down in Tuesday's storms.

At least two families in the northwest suburbs felt stuck in their homes after power lines were brought down in Tuesday's storms.

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Severe weather forced Steve DeMarc and his family to make a tricky escape Tuesday night from their Des Plaines home.

As storms raged on around 8:30 p.m., wind tore down a nearby transformer, sending out live wire sparks four feet from their house. "I heard this big popping, like explosions," DeMarc said. "I knew the power lines fell down, but I didn't know it was this bad."

DeMarc said it was clear that he, his wife and two children needed to get out of the house, but he was worried the wet grass was conducting electricity. So he used a plastic chair to get his family over the fence to another plastic chair.

Hours later, the wires continued to spark as the family waited to return home. After calling ComEd since 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, crews arrived by 11 a.m. Wednesday.

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