More than 400,000 ComEd customers lost power because of Tuesday night's tornado-like winds and heavy rain. The electric company announced Wednesday that 90 percent of the outages should be restored by midnight Thursday, June 23.
"As of 4 p.m. [Wednesday] we've restored 241,000, but there are still 189,000 without power," ComEd Spokesperson Alicia Zatkowski told Patch. Roughly 137,000 of those still in the dark reside in the company's North Region. Meanwhile more than 700 ComEd employees are working to quickly repair the damage.
But for those readers still left in the dark, Patch offers up these safety tips:
- Keep Your Food Cool:
- Monitor the food in your fridge by scent and temperature. If potentially hazardous foods are left at 41 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours: toss or cook. If food is prepared, then it can be held at up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit until power is restored. If food smells bad, toss it.
- If your freezer is half full, the contents should keep for about 24 hours. If your freezer is full, the contents should keep for about 48 hours.
- Pack meat and dairy products in a cooler with ice if handy.
- Pour bleach over discarded food to discourage pests.
- Make A Red Cross List, Check it Twice: The American Red Cross has a go-to list of items to have on hand during a power outage. It's a basic reminder of all the things you might forget with the lights out.
- Radio Radio: If all your new-fangled tech gear goes kaput, keep a battery-powered AM/FM radio around for news updates. Hand-crank radios are also a green news option that sometimes come with a USB port to charge up other electronics.
- Keep Extra Juice on Hand: Work from home? You might want to keep better back-up on hand than the hand-crank radio. Spare car chargers for laptops and cell phones can range from $5 to $20, or portable power generators offered by Duracell can run about $60.
- Water Awareness: Does your water supply come from a municipal or city well? Keep an eye on usage when power is restored as the wells might still be out of service. Check with your local government for updates.
- Sump Pump Path: While it's a dreaded scenario, basement flooding can be worse if access to your sump pump is blocked by boxes precious childhood memories. Be sure the path to the pump is clear, and if you can swing it a battery-powered back up might come in handy.
- Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises to keep generators outside, roughly 25 feet from doors or windows. Do not use gas stoves to heat your home if temperatures get cool.
Remember to report downed power lines or treees on power lines to 9-1-1!