Metra Milwaukee West line delayed after wind takes down power line in Elgin
Metra riders taking trains on the Milwaukee District West Line should be able to travel as usual Thursday morning, after Wednesday's strong winds knocked a power line onto the railroad tracks near the Elgin train station, Metra officials said.
Gusty winds caused scattered power outages and downed power lines throughout Elgin and the Fox Valley area, delaying trains up to an hour.
Passengers were being bused between the Elgin and Big Timber stations, spokeswoman Meg Reile said, and Metra was trying to notify customers of the issue, especially before rush hour. Thursday's commuters can check for potential delays at Metrarail.com.
ComEd officials estimated work at the scene would be completed about 11 p.m. Wednesday Meanwhile, additional crews were asked to help replace the damaged pole.
Tom Wilder, who lives in an apartment adjacent to the tracks and the bus terminal, was home about noon when the power line fell. He said the pole broke and just missed hitting a van parked in the alleyway between the tracks and his building.
"We just heard a giant boom, and we had no idea what it was," said Wilder, who was watching the resulting commotion from his balcony overlooking the tracks. Elgin police and at least a dozen ComEd workers were on the scene throughout the afternoon.
Only one lane was open to traffic on the nearby Chicago Street bridge, which had been closed earlier. Elgin police encouraged drivers to use alternate routes.
Two poles are also down near Wendy's and Beef Villa in Elgin, causing the closure of Dundee Avenue between Congdon Avenue and Liberty Street, Elgin police said.
Though unable to provide a specific outage number in Elgin, ComEd representatives said about 26,000 customers in the company's service area were affected by power outages because of the strong winds. Power was still out throughout parts of Elgin into Wednesday evening. Some outages are not expected to be repaired until about 2 p.m. Thursday, according to a ComEd outage map.
Because of the power outages, Elgin's city council and committee of the whole meetings Wednesday night were rescheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, and the liquor commission meeting was canceled.
Gail Borden Public Library at 270 N. Grove Ave. was also temporarily closed to customers. Patrons who were already inside the library were told they could stay, according to a Facebook post. Visitors have been asked to check the library's Facebook page for updated hours before coming in Thursday.