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updated: 7/26/2012 4:21 PM

Morning thunderstorms leave some in dark in Northwest suburbs

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ComEd is reporting pockets of power outages scattered throughout the Northwest suburbs following early morning thunderstorms, as well as 242 customers still without power since Tuesday's storms, a company spokeswoman said.

At about 1:30 a.m. today, 4,300 customers in total were affected in Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Rosemont, and Maywood, spokeswoman Krissy Posey said.

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Electricity was restored to a majority of those customers by 2 a.m., and crews are working on restoring power to the remaining customers. Posey said less than 20 customers remain without power in the region from this morning's outage.

However, Des Plaines Acting Police Chief Mike Kozak said the city was informed about 9,800 residents were without power earlier this morning, though ComEd denies that many residents were affected.

A majority of Des Plaines residents who lost power live in the area south of Oakton Street to Devon Avenue between Mount Prospect and River roads.

Des Plaines' public works, police and fire personnel as well as Citizens on Patrol and Fire Corps volunteers have been working throughout the night and morning on downed wires and trees. They also dealt with gates malfunctioning at several railroad crossings: along the Canadian National line at Pratt, Frontage, Prospect, and Algonquin streets; and along the Union Pacific line at Prairie and Woodlawn streets.

Minor power outages also have been reported in Elk Grove Village.

ComEd spokeswoman Arlana Johnson said part of the problem may have been a series of feeder power lines getting locked out due to severe weather and lightening strikes.

"Those are more easily restored," she said. "We just have to switch customers to a different line in order to make the repairs to the lockouts. We're not seeing the type of damage that we saw with the July 24 storm."

Residents who encounter a downed power line should call ComEd at (800) 334-7661 and report the location. Spanish-speaking customers should call (800) 955-8237.

ComEd offers the following tips for customers experiencing a prolonged outage:

• Turn off all appliances including furnaces, water heaters, and water pumps.

• Leave a lamp on to know when power has been restored.

• Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed and open them only when necessary. Food will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully-loaded freezer, if the door remains closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.

• Customers on medical support equipment are strongly encouraged to evacuate to a place where they can be comfortable and safe.

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