More than 25,000 ComEd customers were left in the dark Monday afternoon as a series of thunderstorms pummeled the Chicago area, bringing heavy rain, lightning and fierce winds.
According to the utility's online outage map, 25,837 customers were affected by 518 outages as of 1:52 p.m. Outages were scattered throughout the entire region, with some as far as northern Lake County and others in southern cities, such as Kankakee.
Evanston, Skokie and Wilmette appeared to have been some of the hardest hit. In those communities and other nearby towns, approximately 7,000 customers were affected by outages. ComEd reported 5,900 additional customers without power in an area including Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights.
With the potential for severe weather, ComEd opened its Emergency Operations Center and announced it was deploying additional crews for power restoration efforts. When responding to outages, the company says its top priority is to restore power to critical facilities, such as fire stations, nursing homes and hospitals.
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The utility encourages people to take the following precautions as storms and clean-up efforts continue:
-Customers are reminded never to approach a downed power line. Residents should always assume that power lines are active and extremely dangerous.
-Customers are asked not to approach ComEd employees in the field. Crews may be working on live electrical equipment, and the job site may be dangerous.
Outages can also be reported by texting the word “OUT” to 26633.