ComEd says more than 1,200 customers are affected by a power failure centered around Simpson Street and Green Bay Road in Evanston.

In an incident that may have been related, shortly after the power failure  struck, some residents of the apartment building at 2300 Noyes Court reported an odor of smoke in the building.

That led to several fire units responding to the scene. Some residents evacuated the building and one woman reported difficulty breathing and she was later transported to the hospital. But no fire was found in the building and the fire engines soon pulled away from the scene.

The power failure knocked out traffic lights at several intersections along Green Bay Road and Ridge Avenue, as well as some lights on Maple Avenue in downown Evanston.

Power was being restored to at least some of those signals by about 5:30 p.m.

The power outage, which struck just as rush hour was starting appeared to be a contributing factor in some traffic accidents.

The cause of the power outage was under investigation, but at least one resident on the 1900 block of Darrow Avenue reported hearing what sounded like an explosion coming from the ComEd substation in the 1600 block of Emerson Street

ComEd says it hopes to have power restored to the affected areas by 6:30 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. ComEd and NW Evanston

    Evanston residents in the northwest neighborhoods might be interested to know that there is an open meeting with ComEd officials, city managers and residents Thursday night. This was "sparked" by the numerous outages around the 4th of July and after several transformers blew out and had to be replaced.

    Following are details.

    A meeting for 6th ward residents will be held with the Alderman, Mark Tendam; ComEd representative Jeff Batara, External Affairs Manager – Corporate Affairs; and David Stoneback, City of Evanston, Utilities Director.

    LOCATION: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM at the Presbyterian Homes, James Room located on the second floor of the Kimble Fitness Center, 3200 Grant Street.

    This meeting will focus on the recent ComEd issues in Circuit C754 in the Cowper/Hastings area.

    We will also get an update on the work discussed at our last meeting on C754 in the Lincolnwood, Central Park, Colfax, Payne area as well as the C8814 in the Hillside area especially the north end of Princeton and nearby homes.

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