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updated: 7/20/2013 8:24 PM

No power, downed trees remain after Friday's storm

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  • A downed tree on the 200 block of West Sigwalt was one of dozens reported Saturday morning in the aftermath of Friday's storm.

       A downed tree on the 200 block of West Sigwalt was one of dozens reported Saturday morning in the aftermath of Friday's storm.
    John Lampinen | Staff Photographer

  • Cable wires Saturday feel the strain of a downed tree that fell along Northwest Highway in Mount Prospect during storms that swept through the Northwest suburbs on Friday.

       Cable wires Saturday feel the strain of a downed tree that fell along Northwest Highway in Mount Prospect during storms that swept through the Northwest suburbs on Friday.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Cable wires Saturday feel the strain of tree branches that fell along River Road in Des Plaines during storms that swept through the Northwest suburbs on Friday.

       Cable wires Saturday feel the strain of tree branches that fell along River Road in Des Plaines during storms that swept through the Northwest suburbs on Friday.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 

Thousands of homes and businesses remained without power Saturday in the Northwest suburbs, and ComEd officials said it could take until about 3 p.m. Sunday to return the area to full power.

Hardest hit in the aftermath of Friday night's storm were Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect and Skokie, ComEd spokeswoman Liz Keating said. Restoring power to customers in Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights will likely take until Sunday afternoon, while Skokie customers should be back up by noon. Other pockets of homes without power were scheduled to be restored by 6 p.m. Saturday, she said.

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At the height of the storm, 18,000 outages were reported. By 8 p.m. Saturday, 1,457 customers were still out -- with 1,250 in the Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights area, Keating said.

ComEd officials initially said they had hoped to have power restored by the end of Saturday, but extensive "tree work" remained to be done and they were now estimating restoration by 3 p.m. Sunday.

ComEd had 161 crews out Saturday afternoon and were calling in contractor crews to help with removing downed trees from the power lines, Keating said.

"From the number of trees they've seen so far, they've made the decision to call in some additional tree crews," she said.

Arlington Heights Public Service Officer Robert Gonzalez fielded about 75 calls between 7 and 11 a.m. Saturday regarding downed trees and hanging branches caused by Friday's storm.

Des Plaines also reported power outages and downed trees.

Among those affected by the outage was Derek Hanley, owner of Peggy Kinnane's Irish Restaurant and Pub in downtown Arlington Heights. He had to close early on a busy Friday after the power went out about 10 p.m. Thanks to a battery backup, employees were able get the checks out and the credit cards swiped before Hanley closed about 11:30 p.m.

"We had a stressful hour or two," said Hanley, who estimated the outage cost about $3,000 in revenue. He estimates repairs will cost another $1,000.

Fortunately, Hanley said, employees salvaged food by transferring it from a small unit that lost power to the main refrigerator and freezer that remained on.

By midday Saturday, Peggy Kinnane's had reopened. Hanley expressed frustration at what he described as outdated equipment, including ComEd transformers.

"We have this beautiful Arlington Heights downtown, and we're losing power regularly," he said. "It's very frustrating as a businessman."

Keating encouraged customers to check the outage map at comed.com or call (800) 334-7661 for updates.

Daily Herald staff writer Jake Griffin contributed to this report.

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