ComEd officials say they are prepared for deep freeze
ComEd officials say they're ready to address any power disruptions that occur as the temperature dives in the coming days.
Officials say repair crews are standing by, equipment and vehicles have been prepared for frigid weather and the company has coordinated with local governments to provide warming centers should emergencies arise.
"Obviously, extreme weather conditions may affect different infrastructures, including the electrical infrastructure," said Fidel Marquez, a ComEd senior vice president for government and community relations. "But we have taken measures to stay on top of any issues that may come up as best we can."
Nearly 4 million ComEd customers will rely heavily on electrical power to run furnaces, water wells, and other necessities to fight the bitter cold and horrifying wind chills expected in northern Illinois in the next two days.
Marquez stressed the utility company has designed its system in this part of the country to operate in extreme conditions at either end of the temperature scale.
However, power outage issues can spring up when temperatures reach -27 degrees and wind gusts register 35 mph as forecast between now and Thursday, he said.
Marquez said 300 ComEd crews and 80 contractor crews are on standby to respond to any outages. Equipment and vehicles have been prepared and ready to be deployed when needed.
"We have also opened up our emergency operations center and will operate it around the clock in 12-hour shifts," he said.
In the event of a prolonged power outage, ComEd is equipped with buses to use as portable warming centers when needed, and it has coordinated with municipalities to identify larger warming centers.
"We have also proactively reached out to customers with critical medical equipment to ensure they are prepared for the cold," he said. "Ultimately, we are urging people to be safe, stay out of the cold, and look out for each other."
Customers who do experience a power outage can text the word OUT to 26633 (COMED) for updated restoration times, or call ComEd at 800-EDISON1.