Chicago Blackout Leaves 800,000 In The Dark

Hundreds of thousands of people are still without electricity after a major power outage across Chicago.

The Chicago blackout came after a derecho gusting winds of more than 90mph ripped across the region on Monday afternoon (10 August).

The derecho, a long-lasting straight-line windstorm of similar force to a hurricane, was accompanied by nearly 4,300 lightning strikes.

It downed several power lines and trees throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. The storm damaged substations and towers across northern Illinois.

ComEd, the biggest electric company in the state of Illinois and Chicago’s sole provider, revealed that more than 800,000 customers were affected at the peak of the incident.

Supplies were restored to 440,000 customers within 16 hours of the storm. But by Tuesday night, there were still more than a quarter of a million people without electricity

It predicts it will take until Saturday at the earliest for all customers across Chicago to have power fully restored.

“This is not just about wires and poles. With a storm this bad with this much damage, it’s not just a repair job.

“In some of the areas that are impacted, it’s actually a rebuild. We’re going to rebuild areas of the grid that have been significantly damaged by the storm.

“And that rebuild is not just a repair, it’s going to take some time.”

– Rich Negrin, spokesperson for ComEd

Back in May, a similar derecho caused similar disruption in Nashville, Tennessee.

Winds measuring 70mph knocked out more than 200 electricity poles, leaving 131,000 people without power.

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