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ComEd: 48,600 Chicago-area customers still lacking power

A vehicle sits Friday on Crystal Springs Road after it was struck by a tree and surrounded by downed power lines in Nunda Township. A McHenry County sheriff's deputy waits for ComEd as the squad car blocks traffic. The driver of the car was uninjured.
A vehicle sits Friday on Crystal Springs Road after it was struck by a tree and surrounded by downed power lines in Nunda Township. A McHenry County sheriff's deputy waits for ComEd as the squad car blocks traffic. The driver of the car was uninjured.

Saturday afternoon update:

CHICAGO (AP) — About 48,600 homes and businesses in northern Illinois are still without power.

ComEd says power has been restored to more than a quarter million customers in Chicago and surrounding areas, including McHenry County, but 48,600 were still without power as of 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

ComEd spokeswoman Krissy Posey says the company expects it to take more than a day to get power back to everyone.

Posey says peak outage was around 8 p.m. Friday when 280,000 customers were without power. Since then, some have had power restored, while others have lost power.

Most of the outages are in the city, where about 65,000 ComEd customers are without power.

The area was hit by a swift-moving storm with powerful winds and heavy rains Friday afternoon that knocked out windows at Chicago's Willis Tower. Another storm hit later in the day.

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Although the sun peeked out of the clouds a mere two hours after a round of severe thunderstorms Friday, local residents still were cleaning up from the damage.

Keith Menge of Woodstock had just pulled into his driveway after work when the wind began to pick up and he and his girlfriend heard a loud “boom.” Heavy branches from the 40-foot-tall willow tree on Menge’s property had fallen before the rain even started, snapping a utility pole and taking down power lines with it.

“That, in essence, ripped three other lines off people’s houses,” Menge said Friday afternoon. “I have live wires laying in my yard right now.”

Across the county, dozens of downed wires and trees were reported by police and fire agencies. About 100,000 ComEd customers remained without power Friday night in the company’s northern suburban region, which includes McHenry County.

Late Friday afternoon, the storms whipped through the Chicago region, producing quarter-sized hail and winds reaching 70 mph.

A flood advisory remained in effect until 2:45 a.m. today. Brief periods of rainfall – up to 3 inches an hour – might have caused rapid flooding of streets overnight.

Motorists should not drive over water-covered roads.

McHenry County’s estimated rainfall from early Friday night measured between 0.8 and 1.5 inches, with the northwestern section hardest hit, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.

During Friday’s rush hour, both inbound and outbound Metra trains on the Union Pacific/Northwest Line train were running behind because of delays initially caused by storm debris, according to Metra’s website. Flights from O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport also were reportedly delayed, but not canceled.

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