Power outages close courthouse, disrupt mail

 
Associated Press
Updated 6/22/2011 3:23 PM

Fast-moving thunderstorms across northern Illinois left hundreds of thousands in the dark and closed several suburban Chicago post offices and a Cook County courthouse on Wednesday.

Nearly 400 ComEd repair crews worked to fix the storm damage that left 300,000 customers without electricity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

About 258,000 customers remained without power Wednesday morning, said ComEd spokesman Bennie Currie. About 182,000 outages were reported in ComEd's northern region, and about 6,600 of the affected customers were in Chicago.

"Unfortunately, due to the extent of the damage, it could become a multiday effort," ComEd spokesman Tony Hernandez told the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald for a story published Wednesday. "But, crews are out working as fast and as safely as possible to get service restored as soon as possible."

Several post offices in the northern and western suburbs also were without power, disrupting mail service, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Sean Hargadon.

Mail delivery and retail services were limited in places with ZIP codes beginning in 6-0-0, including Des Plaines, Glencoe, Lake Forest and Wheeling.

"We're still having carriers deliver mail" because some items had been processed by the time the power went out at a processing facility Tuesday night, Hargadon said.

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Officials are hoping to resume regular postal service on Thursday, he said.

"We're still waiting on an update from ComEd," he said. "They have a lot to handle."

In the meantime, he encouraged customers to visit alternate retail sites that have mail service.

The storm also left the courthouse in west suburban Maywood in the dark. All proceedings were canceled, and cases scheduled for Wednesday were continued.