Libertyville wants answers from ComEd about outages

  • ComEd crews work to restore power in Lake County following one of the summer storms.

      ComEd crews work to restore power in Lake County following one of the summer storms. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Updated 8/11/2011 5:11 PM

The physical evidence of summer storms has been removed from Libertyville streets, but village officials continue to press for information regarding power outages that have been affecting residents even when the weather is nice.

"I don't begrudge ComEd for the power outage we had during the storms -- that was out of their control," Mayor Terry Weppler said recently.


However, based on continuing questions from some residents who have had many more outages than storms this year, he asked the village board's special projects committee to investigate.

"We want to find out where the problems are," Weppler said.

Jim Dudek, external affairs manager for ComEd's north region, and Drew Zmolek, an engineer, attended the committee meeting to discuss outages at the request of the village.

They were told of problems in several areas of the village including the south side, where about eight outages have occurred since the beginning of May.

Weppler said he's heard from some residents who say they were told by ComEd it was the village's responsibility to trim trees that often lead to outages.

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"It's deflecting to us and we have no authority to do anything," he said.

Dudek said that's something that should not be told to customers. ComEd is on a four-year cycle of "vegetation management" for its entire system, he added.

He said there still are areas with tree and vegetation problems, but residents should be notified in advance when the power is intentionally cut to make permanent repairs.

Village officials noted that some areas, such as Interlaken Court near Butler Lake and several areas primarily south of Rockland Road, have had multiple outages.

ComEd plans to meet with residents in the Interlaken area and is continuing an engineering study of the south side of town.

Also, a ComEd subcontractor has resumed work to replace more than 28,000 feet of buried cable west of Route 21 and north and south of Greentree Parkway, which is expected to solve some of the problems.


"We're trying to get back on our schedule," Dudek said. He added that 1,000 feet of feeder cable on the circuit serving areas east of Milwaukee Avenue also was replaced.

"We're still in an analysis stage and exploring what we can do with the circuit down there," he said. "We're not done yet."

The village has asked for a comparison of outages by location for the last year.

Dudek said a $2.6 billion investment to include "smart grid" technology would vastly improve the system. The authorization for that is awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's signature.