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ComEd Prepares for Severe Weather in Northern Illinois on Anniversary of Historic Derecho

System investments provide greater resiliency as climate change increases instances of extreme weather

CHICAGO (Aug. 10, 2021) – Exactly one year ago today, northern Illinois faced a historic storm, known as a derecho, that spawned 15 tornadoes, hurricane-force winds, significant lightning and driving rain. Today, ComEd is, again, preparing for extreme weather coming into the area this evening by proactively opening its Emergency Operations Center and getting equipment and additional crews in place to respond to potential power interruptions. Forecasts project severe heat, possible lightning and wind gusts of up to 35-45 MPH.

Since 2012, ComEd has made investments in the grid to withstand more frequent storms brought about by climate change and avoided more than 16 million customer interruptions by automatically rerouting power around problem areas. The value of these investments was in full display a year ago when, following the derecho that interrupted power to more than 800,000 customers, ComEd safely restored a half-million customers in less than a day– the fastest time in ComEd history.

"This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, which contains a grim outlook of the widespread, rapid, and intensifying impacts of the climate crisis due to fossil-fuel emissions," said Joe Dominguez, CEO of ComEd. "As the IPCC report lays out so clearly, we must reinforce the electric grid to be more resilient because it is often the last line of defense for the communities that entrust us to power their lives and livelihoods."

When responding to power outages caused by storms, ComEd's priority is to restore critical facilities such as police and fire stations, nursing homes and hospitals first, followed by restoring areas with the greatest number of customers. The company will further increase its focus on critical care facilities as they are more critical than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public safety is paramount, and ComEd encourages customers to take the following precautions:

  • If a downed power line is spotted, immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661). Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
  • Never approach a downed power line. Always assume a power line is extremely dangerous and energized.
  • In the event of an outage, do not approach ComEd crews working to restore power to ask about restoration times. Crews may be working on live electrical equipment, and the perimeter of the work zone may be hazardous. Additionally, for the safety of themselves and the public, crews are practicing social distancing.

ComEd urges customers to contact the company immediately if they experience a power outage. Customers can text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report an outage and receive restoration information and can follow the company on Twitter @ComEd or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ComEd. Customers can also call 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661), or report outages via the website at ComEd.com/report. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237). 

ComEd's mobile app for iPhone and Android® smart phones gives customers the ability to report power outages and manage their accounts; download the app at ComEd.com/app.

ComEd's interactive outage map on its website at ComEd.com/map allows customers to easily find information on the location and size of outages and get estimated power restoration times. 

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Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


© Commonwealth Edison Company, 2021. All Rights Reserved.