ComEd: 16,000 without power after storms pummel Chicago area - FOX 32 News Chicago

ComEd: 16,000 without power after storms pummel Chicago area

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Yorkville. (Photo courtesy of @JNMonty via Twitter). Yorkville. (Photo courtesy of @JNMonty via Twitter).
Photo courtesy of FOX Chicago intern Jocelyn Van Beek. Photo courtesy of FOX Chicago intern Jocelyn Van Beek.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

About 16,000 Chicago area people remain without power Tuesday night after strong thunderstorms hit before the morning rush, and some will have to wait until Friday to get the lights back on.

A statement from Commonwealth Edison early Wednesday morning said the utility expects to have power restored to "to the majority of affected customers by Thursday evening, with heavily damaged isolated areas lingering into Friday evening."

About 430 ComEd and contracted crews were working to restore power as of 11:15 a.m., but the utility statement said while it is "still assessing the full scope of damage to its electrical system, historically storms of this size and magnitude typically take several days to complete restoration."

Cooling centers opened Wednesday, as temperatures are expected to reach the high 90s. 

A heat advisory will be in effect until 10 p.m.

ComEd spokeswoman David O'Dowd said more than 310,000 customers were without power at the height of the storm, with the Aurora and Rockford areas hardest hit.

The hardest hit areas are Aurora and Rockford, where 36,000 customers were without power. In the Chicago area, 28,000 customers were without power.

In the north suburbs, 9,000 customers were without power, O'Dowd said. About 26,000 customers were affected in the south region.

CTA Pink and Green Line, as well as Metra trains resumed normal service after experiencing delays Tuesday morning, but South Shore Line trains are experiencing delays of up to 1 1/2 hours after a wire fell and damaged a circuit Tuesday morning in Hammond, Ind.

As of 3:40 p.m. Tuesday, the city's Dept. of Aviation was reporting delays of up to 30 minutes for all inbound and outbound flights at O'Hare, where airlines have canceled 115 flights.

At Midway, up to 45 minute delays remain, though no flights were canceled, Aviation said.

The bulk of the thunderstorms have passed through the Chicago area, but there is a 40 to 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday evening, NWS meteorologist Mike Bardou said.

Two cranes, several trucks and a fire truck were on the scene of a fallen tree in the Bridgeport neighborhood Tuesday morning. They were trying to safely remove what's estimated to be a hundred year old tree that crashed down on a bungalow.

The residents were inside at the time and amazingly, are uninjured.

The homeowner, Bill Powers, said he was asleep during the storm, even as the large, thick tree came crashing down on his house. It woke him and his wife Trudie up when it fell. He knew it was bad, but didn't realize how serious it was until he got outside to take a look at it.

"The walls were shaking, the floor was collapsing and the roof was coming down on us. My wife was screaming and my puppy was barking," Powers said. "The good thing is, we made it out the back door."

In the Jeffrey Manor neighborhood on the South Side, another old, large tree fell over much the same way, tearing out the tree lane, sidewalk and curb. But this one missed the houses, cars, power lines and a water main inches away.

City crews removed branches so that emergency vehicles could proceed down the street. The tree caused no further damage.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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