Thursday, July 14, 2011

Com Ed is On It! Imagine if it were a Government Agency.


Monday's brief but bold storm knocked out power all over Chicago Metro Area. A buddy of mine in Morton Grove, the Marathon Pundit his own bad self, John Ruberry, has been doing the 19th Century/21st Century morph -burning candles and using the old palm-messenger device ( which must be re-charged at a library or Starbuck's with power) to keep up on his reading and writing.

The storm knocked out power in the 18th & 19th Wards from 79th Street North to 109th Street south and roughly from Ashland east to Pulaski west. Power was restored by 6 PM on my block between 107th & 108th Street on Monday. Imagine the loss to families in the costs of spoiled meat and other groceries from family stockpiles in the deep freezer. More significantlty, were another gully washing downpour rain upon us, the sump pump has no power.

In all nearly 800,000 customers were without power - multiply that by four ( your basic husband;wife; three kiddies) and that is a crowd of folks.

By this morning, power has been restored to all but about 100,000 customers. That is pretty damn good work.

I know a bunch of Com Ed workers, most significantly the great Gino Ford who coffees up with me at Kean Gas most mornings - no sign of Gino the last three days; that boy has been up the pole, or in the bucket doing his Electrical Voodoo that He Do So Well!

This morning, I got over to Leo especially early and witnessed a parade of utility vehicles -Bucket Lift Rigs of all sizes and shapes and by my estimate there had to be forty, or more vehicles parading west on 79th Street. The odd thing was that they were all from Punta Gorda, FL. ComEd jumped on the crisis and brought in teams from neighboring states,

I found this press release issued from Com ED on July 11th.

ComEd currently has approximately 480 crews in the field and is requesting assistance from all available resources, including contractor crews and assistance of crews from neighboring states. It also has enlisted additional staffing to manage the large volume of calls experienced by the customer call center. Customers also can visit ComEd.com to report outages and follow us on Twitter to obtain restoration information.

“We recognize that power outages disrupt the lives and businesses of our customers,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and chief operating officer, ComEd. “ComEd crews are working hard to restore service to customers affected by the storm as quickly and safely as possible.”

The powerful storm began moving through the ComEd service territory around 6:00 a.m. and departed by 9:30 a.m. Most damaging to the ComEd system was intense lightning, with high winds as a factor in causing extensive tree damage and bringing down power lines. The resulting outages are more difficult and time consuming to restore as they involve attention to more individualized equipment.

The largest number of outages is located in the company’s northern and western regions. ComEd is working with municipal officials and businesses to provide ongoing updates to them regarding restoration efforts.

ComEd’s restoration process begins with damage assessment, this process enables the company to determine hardest hit areas and factors into restoration times. The company then prioritizes outage restoration to ensure public safety first such as police and fire, then hospitals and other critical customers. Next, ComEd restores feeders, which allows us to return power to large numbers of customers at one time, followed by smaller service restorations and individual outages.

Public safety is paramount during storms and ComEd encourages the public to remember to take the following precautions:


This is great attention to customer service and public safety. We beef about utilities and their cost hikes - I know I do.

However, I was really impressed this morning by number of trucks and command vehicles brought into the Chicago area to fix the power outage. No one can say that Com Ed is not doing everything in its power to restore power.

That power lies in the hands of Gino Ford and guys and girls in the 480 bucket truck crews. Imagine if the utilities were in the hands of the government.

Welcome to Port Au Prince, Illinois.

Great job Com Ed!

1 comment:

JB Powers said...

You're too kind Pat. The workers perform well enough, but the corporation should be held to task for allowing the electric delivery system to fall behind Beirut levels of reliability.