Bob Little was up early Monday hacking at a huge fallen tree in West Chicago with a handsaw. Little said he thinks it's the city's tree, but he thought he'd try to get some of the branches off the grass. "My wife thinks I'm nuts," he said.
Thousands of Commonwealth Edison customers remain without power Tuesday morning after Sunday’s storms, and it could take several days before some get it back, even as the area swelters in what is forecast to be a week of high temperatures in the 90s.
As of 7 a.m. 48,000 customers remain in the dark and more power outage reports keep coming in, the agency said Tuesday. More than 470 crews have scrambled to restore power to roughly 257,000 customers since Sunday.
The utility for the first time brought out its new mobile command center as part of the response.
It wasn’t clear when all customers would have their power restored, but ComEd officials acknowledged it might take several days. Some residents were told not to expect electrical service in time for Wednesday’s holiday.
"We'll have a better sense of that later this evening as we complete our damage assessment," said Fidel Marquz, a ComEd senior vice president.
Cleanup began Monday across Chicago's suburbs after severe Sunday storms knocked out power in multiple suburbs and caused tree damage throughout the area.
The fast-moving storm caught kayakers off-guard in the Chicago River. More than 60 had to be rescued when winds and rough waters caused their kayaks to flip near Chicago and Halsted. No one was hurt.
The dark, ominous clouds moved toward Chicago just before noon. They brought with them powerful winds with gusts up to 90 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Residents of Concord Plaza Retirement Home in Northlake had to be removed Sunday night after the building's power went out during the storms. Power has since been restored.
In West Chicago, power was knocked out on Route 59 at North Avenue, causing a backup of commuters.
In the Forest Trails section of West Chicago, the storm caused heavy tree damage. Along Hawthorne Lane, a tree came down on a home and across a driveway, burying a van in branches.
Larry Hall was on his way to Wrigley Field Sunday when his alarm company called to say there was a power outage. He called his neighbor to find out what happened and his neighbor told him, "don't bother coming home. You can't get in your driveway."
Hall lost two trees in the storm, but he's better off than a neighbor down the street. That neighbor had a tree come down on his house.
Cheryl Hellyer was amazed at the tree damage. "There was a tree down in the road and my husband and some neighbors got out chainsaws to clear the road," Hellyer said.
"I think everybody got hit in some way," she said. "What I don't understand is it doesn't seem like a normal wind. ... It twisted treetops."
You can check out where the power outages are, and get an estimate on when it will be restored by checking an outage map on ComEd's website.
ComEd urges customers to stay away from and report any downed power lines, and report outages to (800) Edison1 or text outages to OUT26633. ComEd also has a mobile app, for both iPhone and Android devices, which customers can use to report outages.
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