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ComEd Working To Restore Power To Homes During Historic Cold Snap


CHICAGO (CBS) — Just over 2,000 ComEd customers were without power as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, and ComEd has already restored power to 55,000 customers who lost power overnight.

Blue Island resident Victor Bahr woke up to no heat and stinging cold temperatures.

The incident even brought him to tears.

“Yeah, my eyes are all wet from it,” he said.

His power was restored by noon, but by then his baseboard heater stopped working. Fortunately he could plug in a space heater.

But this family in Homewood wasn’t so lucky.

“Frustrated isn’t the word for it,” said Beatrice Giesen, whose home also lost power.

They were still waiting well into the afternoon for help from ComEd. Crews were out working at the substation down the street. Meanwhile this family and about 30 of their neighbors on the Homewood/Flossmoor border were doing everything they could think of to stop the shivers.

“Oh I got four shirts and a down vest and a wool jacket, stocking, hat, gloves,” Jim Mihalik said.

“We’ve got burners going on the stove but that’s about it,” Giesen said.

Wednesday Com Ed Senior Vice President Fidel Marquez said the company believes most of the outages were caused by intense wind gusts. Right now it does not have an estimate for full restoration.

“Repairs take a lot longer under these conditions,” said Fiedel Marquez, senior vice president for Governmental External Affairs at ComEd. “We’ve doubled up the crews on the repairs, largely because for their safety they can’t be spending a lot of time in this weather without getting frostbite or risking their own safety.”

But these residents say every moment they’ve had to wait has been brutal.

“Trying to stay warm as best we can but that’s not working very well for us,” Mihalik said.