Update 2:12 p.m.: City officials say ComEd this afternoon is reporting 4,500 customers in Evanston are still without power. That’s down from 8,300 last night and this morning.

The city’s utilities director, Dave Stoneback, says ComEd reports having at least five crews working in Evanston today.

Northwestern University officials say all of the more than 60 campus buildings that lost power during the storm now have their electrical service restored.

Stoneback told aldermen at Monday night’s City Council meeting that 8,291 customers didn’t have power. He added that, at the peak of the problems after Monday morning’s severe thunderstorm, 12,400 customers were out.

Stoneback said he didn’t have exact figures for how many ComEd customers there are in Evanston, but he noted that the city’s water department serves about 14,000 accounts.

There’s not necessarily an exact correlation between the number of water and electricity customers, but Stoneback suggested the count should be fairly close — which suggests that more than half of Evanston is still without power this morning, 24 hours after the storm.

Top: Tree limbs fill the front yard of a home in the 1800 block of Asbury Avenue. Above: City Utilities Director Dave Stoneback speaking to the City Council Monday night about the storm-related power outages.

City officials provided a map showing the areas that are still reported to be without power this morning. The affected areas, shown in red on the map, are concentrated between Green Bay Road and Ridge Avenue north of Central Street, along the lakefront between Main and Dempster streets, and ranging across several blocks either side of Asbury Avenue from Church to Howard streets.

Across the metro area ComEd reports about 359,000 customers without power, down by more than half from the 868,000 reported in what the utility says is the worst storm in a decade.

The company says it expects restoration efforts to take several days and that it has 900 crews in the field today — including crews from outside contractors and from utility companies in three neighboring states.

Stoneback said the utility will focus on restoring circuits that serve a large number of customers first. And he said customers whose individual service lines are down, or have been pulled away from the wall of their homes, will need to hire their own electricians and have the work inspected by the city before ComEd will restore service. (Details here about how to handle that situation.)

Where to charge up your computer and cell phone?

If you’re stil without power, you may have given up on saving the food in the freezer, but what to do about staying connected?

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said she plans to be at the Police Outpost, 633 Howard St., starting at noon today, opening the building to let residents recharge their computers and cell phones.

Other people have suggested stopping by the main library downtown at 1703 Orrington Ave.

This reporter — who was without power for 12 hours yesterday — found Perla Cafe at 1813 Dempster St. to be a good spot. Lots of power outlets all around the room, more than enough for the number of customers present.

Power up, and stay cool

Update 11:35 a.m.: City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says several air-conditioned city facilities are available during their usual business hours for people without power to cool off on what’s expected to be a warm day today.

Some also have public Wi-Fi connections available as well as power outlets for recharging devices. Here’s a list:

  • Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave. (4th Floor, Parasol Room) – WiFi
  • Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St.
  • Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster St.
  • Chandler-Newberger Center, 1028 Central St.
  • Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. – WiFi
  • North Branch Library, 2026 Central St. – WiFi
  • Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. – WiFI
  • Howard St Police Outpost, 633 Howard St.  Noon to 2 p.m. – WiFi

Tree branch pickup

City officials say city crews will soon begin picking up fallen branches. Residents are asked to place all branches in the parkway. Because there’s been so much damage, it’s expected to take city crews about a week to pick all the tree debris.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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7 Comments

  1. houses damaged by tree downed on Rosalie

    See this picture of two houses that had their eaves damaged by a large parkway tree that came down on Rosalie (one block south of Central). I live a block away – we got power back after about 10 hours, much better than the 41 hours we waiting a few weeks back.

    1. Map wrong. Why same areas each time and no explanation?

      Yes we got power back by 9PM on Monday—a shock to all of us who had been out for 36, 24 and 14 [as I recall—hard to with all the outages] the prior storms.  But the map EvanstonNow had on Tuesday for 6 AM still showed this area out ?

      The area from northside of Rosalie to Isabella and east side of Jackson seem to go out with each storm—this time in the first few seconds before the rain or wind had done much.  While in this storm in particular there were a lot of trees, I at least did not see wires down and I and many others saw no ComEd trucks [this or prior times] working on the sub-station, lines or anything in the area.  You would think ComEd would realize there is a recurring problem with this area [since at least 1993] and fix it and let the residents know where the problem is so we can at least know [see] when they are working on the problem.

      Also why did Ryan Field get a crew working on their transformer at 10 AM Monday when there were few people there and no events ?  Surely more dense areas of the city could have used the work.

      I can't say the crews are not working hard but the management certainly is far behind in keeping the public informed on what is going on.

  2. Electricity Starting to Restore in Evanston

    Some progress is being made today.  My power just came on a little before noon today (7/12) after having been off since yesterday at 8:00 AM.  I took a walk around the area yesterday and noted that Maple from Davis to Church (my block) seemed to be completely blacked out, but Maple north of Church was lighted.  The south side of Davis had power, but the north side, at least from the Metra tracks west to the Post Office at Oak was dark.  Some places like Gigio's Pizza were closed, others, like the Davis Pantry or the Pine Yard tried to operate in the dark.  I walked around Noyes near the Purple Line and saw some places (Good News Laundry) were lit while the Mandarin House Korean restaurant next door and D& D Dog's down the street were closed with a "no electricity" sign.  It's hard to figure out exactly how the electricity is routed, with this seemingly random pattern of outages.

    Lou Malnati's Pizza, and, I expect, other area restaurants, did a booming business last night with all of us "power-less" folks wanting dinner but not wanting to open the 'fridge for fear of letting the heat inside.  At home, my freezer got up to 50 degrees and the 'fridge got up to 70, while the kitchen was still 88, so I think I can salvage most of my food.

     

  3. 4500 without power this afternoon

    Can it be correct that the City water department only has 14,000 account as is stated in the outage story?.  How so?  If this is anywhere near correct, then we best start lining up accounts in Evanston as a means to reduce our deficit.  What is a water user's alternative source for supply here?

  4. Water vs. Power

    @JTF

    If my small building is any indication, there is only one water account, paid by the landlord, and six power accounts, paid by the tenants.  Using that as an indicator, I assume there are FAR more than 14,000 ComEd customers in Evanston, but the 14,000 water accounts seems reasonable given the number of buildings owned by groups like BJB Evanston, or NU for that matter.

  5. Possible City incompetence to get your power restored?

    Power to my residence is on, Edison restored it within a day.  But as I read the city document about home owners whose home service was damaged between the power line and the home, who need to hire a private contractor to repair I wonder what troubles they might face dealing with the city building department.

    I recall they have only one inspector for electrical?  How long will it take to get a inspection?  Mr Stoneback is not responsible for the building department.  Holding up a electrical contractor for the inspection could add $500 to $1000 to a home owners bill.

    What also happen if the inspector demands expense upgrades to the system and refuse to accept the work even if safe? What will the home owner do? 

    I do not see the city building department as too competent, given talkng to two residents who have had serious problems dealing with them, and my own experience in silly property standard inspections. Another residents told me they added items to a inspection for property standards that another inspectors the next year claim unnecessary.

    What might look good on the paper and in Mr Stoneback speech at council could turn into  an expensive nightmare for some residents.

    Will we see some angry residents at the next council meeting, complaining like a speaker at the last meeting how she was treated at the city kangeroo court ( admin adjunt. )  and her issues being low income and having disabilites.

     

  6. Contact ComEd and Aldermen please !

    People in this and other areas with constant outages, write the aldermen and ComEd.

    Ask why same area is affect in each storm.

    Ask where the source is—same wires, transformer, sub-station—and why not a major fix done.

    Is the 'source' even in the area mentioned ? Either way if w know where the 'source' is we can at least look to see when ComEd is working on it.

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